MARION, Ill. — The Gateway Grizzlies scored the first seven runs Saturday night and rolled to a 10-1 win over the Southern Illinois Miners at Rent One Park.
Gateway (21-29) won its third straight to equal its longest winning streak of the season. The Grizzlies have only won eight of 23 series against the Miners (26-23) in Marion all-time, but they've won back-to-back series at Southern Illinois since last August.
Gateway will try for its first road sweep of the Miners since 2010 in the series finale Sunday.
Shawon Dunston Jr. set the tone with a lead-off triple in the top of the first inning and came in to score on a Connor Owings RBI groundout. Zak Taylor knocked in Andrew Daniel in the second inning to double the Grizzlies' advantage.
Gateway tacked on three more runs in the third inning when Matt Brown doubled down the left-field line to clear the bases. Brown had been mired in an 0-for-20 slump before he opened Saturday's game 3-for-3 with a career-high four RBIs. He added his fourth run batted in with a single in the fifth.
Dunston Jr. had four hits — three singles in addition to his lead-off triple — for his third four-hit game of the season. No other Grizzlie has more than one.
Owings and Luis Román added two hits each; Owings had one double and Román had two.
Ian Kahaloa (1-2) worked five innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts for his first Grizzlies win.
The Grizzlies have won five of their last six games and pulled within 5 1/2 games of a tie between the Miners and River City Rascals for the final Frontier League playoff spot.
Gateway and Southern Illinois will finish their three-game series with a 5:05 p.m. CDT first pitch Sunday before the All-Star Break begins Monday. Dominic Topoozian (4-2, 2.47) will start 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.