FLORENCE, Ky. – The Joliet Slammers were hoping to complete a sweep of Florence, the West Division leader in the Frontier League, but the Freedom had other ideas Sunday.
Florence scored a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to move in front for good and added two insurance runs in the seventh to capture a 6-3 victory over the Slammers.
Andre Mercurio singled in a run to break a 3-3 tie in the fifth and then two innings later, Jose Brizuela and Mercurio each drove in runs to complete the scoring for Florence (22-11). Also for the Freedom, Daniel Fraga went 3 for 3, while Collins Cuthrell hit a home run.
Florence utilized six pitchers, and Marty Anderson allowed one run in two innings to get the win. Patrick McGrath, Laetten Galbraith, Enrique Zamora and Matt Pobereyko (save) combined to allow no hits in three innings of relief.
Tasker Strobel took the loss for the Slammers (14-19) after allowing seven hits and two earned runs in five innings.
Joliet got a leadoff homer from Chase Patterson in the third. Rock Shoulders pulled off the same feat in the fourth, and Danny Zardon (3 for 4) doubled home Juan Silva in the fifth. It was the seventh home run of the season for Shoulders and the first for Patterson.
After winning two out of three games in the series, the Slammers moved into fifth place in the East Division standings but are still 11 games behind front-runner Schaumburg.
Despite only winning once against Joliet, Florence still owns a five-game lead in its division over second-place Normal and River City.
The Slammers return to action Tuesday when they kick off a three-game series at Traverse City with a 7:05 p.m. game.