Clinton, IA - The Clinton LumberKings led 1-0 in both ends of the doubleheader Monday afternoon at Alliant Energy Field, but both times the Beloit Snappers rallied back as they swept the Memorial Day action with 7-1 an 2-1 wins.
Kalian Sams belted a solo home run on right-hander Adrian Salcedo's 2-2 curveball in the first inning of game one, but that would be the only run the Kings would score. Salcedo (W, 4-3) went the distance with one run on four hits, two walks and three strikeouts over 7.0 innings.
Left-hander James Paxton surrendered back-to-back doubles to Lance Ray and Kyle Knudson as the Snappers tied the game in the second inning. Knudson moved to third and scored on a double-steal despite Daniel Santana getting picked off.
Paxton (L, 1-2) allowed another RBI double to Santana in the fifth inning and saw a second run come home in the frame on a passed ball by catcher Steven Baron. The Langley, British Columbia, Canada native yielded four runs, two earned, on four hits and struck out seven over 5.0 innings.
Left-hander Nate Reed worked the final 2.0 innings and gave up three more runs including RBI singles by Knudson and Ray as the Snappers pushed their lead to 7-1.
Knudson went 1-for-4 with the double and two RBI to lead the Snappers. Sams finished 1-for-3 with the home run, his fourth of the season for the LumberKings.
In game two, the LumberKings again scored first as Robbie Anston beat out a bunt single and scored on a one-out single to left by Carlos Ramirez. That run was the only one allowed by Snappers' left-hander Ryan O'Rourke over 3.0 innings in a spot start.
Right-hander Forrest Snow pitched well enough to win yet again for the Kings, but let the tying run score in the sixth inning. Wang-Wei Lin singled to center, moved up two bases on Nate Roberts' sacrifice bunt as no Clinton defender covered third on the wheel play and scored on Michael Gonzales's sacrifice fly to center.
Snow finished with a run on four hits over 7.0 innings, walked one and struck out five. The no-decision did snap his string of five-straight starts with a loss.
Clinton had a golden opportunity to take a 2-1 lead on left-hander Jose Gonzalez in the sixth inning as Mickey Wiswall slapped a leadoff single to left-center and was replaced by pinch-runner Julio Morban. An errant pickoff throw by Gonzalez put Morban at third base with nobody out, but Gonzalez (W, 2-1) recovered to strike out Sams and then induced groundouts from Stefen Romero and Jabari Blash to keep the game tied at 1-1.
The Snappers seized their chance in the top of the eighth against right-hander Jessie Nava as Jamaal Hawkins singled to center and moved to third on a hit-and-run executed perfectly by Lin. Nava (L, 0-1) then served up the game-winning hit, a liner to left-center from Roberts.
Ramirez doubled off the top of the wall - just a foot from a game-tying homer - with one out in the bottom of the eighth, but Gonzalez got Morban to fly out to left field for the second out and right-hander Michael Tonkin (S, 1) struck out Sams looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
Anston finished 2-for-3 with a run scored in the second game while Ramirez went 2-for-3 with the lone RBI for Clinton. Lin went 3-for-4 with three singles and a run scored for Beloit.
The LumberKings (14-38) head to the East Division for the first time in 2011 for a six-game road trip to Fort Wayne, IN and Eastlake, OH. A three-game series with the Fort Wayne TinCaps (23-27) begins at Parkview Field tomorrow night at 6:05 PM central time. Right-hander Taijuan Walker (2-2, 4.03) starts for Clinton against TinCaps' right-hander Keyvius Sampson (6-1, 2.09). Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at 1390kcln.com.