SAUGET, Ill. — The Gateway Grizzlies took a 6-4 lead into the ninth inning Saturday but lost their advantage in the ninth for the second straight game in a 7-6 defeat at the hands of the Southern Illinois Miners at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
Gateway (16-28) has lost three in a row and 13 of its last 15.
Chris Carden tossed six innings and allowed only two runs. He struck out a career-high 10 batters but did not factor in the decision. The Grizzlies dropped to 7-12 this season when they receive a quality start; they were 26-12 under the same circumstance in 2018.
Matt Brown celebrated his 25th birthday with a 3-for-5 performance and three RBIs. He doubled home a run in the fourth inning to make Saturday's game his fourth straight with an extra-base hit.
Gateway led 2-0 after one inning, 4-1 after two, 6-2 after six, and 6-4 after eight.
Southern Illinois (25-17) took advantage of a walk and a hit batsman following a leadoff single to load the bases in the ninth. An RBI walk cut the Grizzlies' lead to 6-5, then former Grizzlies first baseman Jamey Smart doubled to left-center field to drive in the tying and eventual winning runs for the Miners.
Gateway traded Smart for a player to be named later Friday. He is 5-for-10 with two RBIs over his first two Miners games.
Grizzlies closer Dakota Smith (0-2) took the loss and blown save for the second straight night.
Brent Sakurai went 1-for-1 with three walks, a sacrifice, and a steal.
Gateway and Southern Illinois will conclude their three-game series Sunday at 6:05 p.m. CDT. Ian Kahaloa is slated to pitch for the Grizzlies.
ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I-255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find - affordable, family, fun in the comfortable GCS Credit Union Ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000.
ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 10 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year.