Albany Dutchmen stumble at start against Saratoga Phillies

Saratoga's offense gave Thompson plenty of run support. After second baseman Sean Allaire's RBI single tied the game at 4 in the second inning, the Phillies battered Albany pitching for five runs on five hits in the top of the third. Allaire and right fielder Adam Dimino had the big hits for Saratoga with back-to-back two-run doubles.

"The offense has been playing well for the last week," said Zackrison. "We've been more patient at the plate, getting better pitch counts and taking better swings."

Gibbs gave Albany fans a reason to cheer in the bottom of the third inning when he belted a solo home run nearly in the same place where his grand slam landed, but that was the last highlight for the Dutchmen. Thompson and three Saratoga relievers shut down Albany's offense the rest of the way.

"They scored all of their runs on two swings, all by the same guy," said Zackrison.

Albany's bullpen also did a good job, as four relievers combined to limit Saratoga to one run on four hits over the final six innings.

"I think our bullpen did a great job of coming in and giving us a chance to come back," said Coogan.

Both Saratoga and Albany face a busy schedule over the final two weeks of the regular season, thanks to several rainouts in June. Albany started a stretch of 12 games in 10 days Tuesday against Saratoga, while the Phillies have to play virtually every day to regain some of the contests they lost.

"With the rainouts, it's been hard to get in a rhythm as a team," said Coogan. "If the weather can cooperate down the stretch, it will give the guys a chance to experience the daily grind of a baseball season again.""

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