(Billings Mustangs release)
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - The Idaho Falls Chukars (6-14, 27-30) put an end to the Billings Mustangs' (14-6, 29-29) six-game win streak on Sunday with a 6-3 win in front of 1,610 at Melaleuca Field.
Eric Yang gave the Mustangs a lead in the top of the second with a leadoff home run. Yang drove a liner to left-center field which he originally thought was a double. After holding up at second base, he was waved on for his fourth home run of the season, giving the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
Idaho Falls evened the game in the third with one run on one hit. After Tyler James was walked to lead off the inning, Clay Dungan lined a two-out RBI double to right-center three batters later to even the game at 1-1.
The Chukars then took their first lead of the game and series an inning later when Juan Carlos Negret led off the inning with a solo home run to center. It was Negret's fourth home run in the last three games and his team-leading 13th homer of the year for Idaho Falls. Trailing 2-1 after the fourth, it was the first time the Mustangs trailed in 35 innings.
Billings had a prime opportunity to immediately erase the deficit in the fifth after getting the bases loaded with zero outs. Quincy McAfee led off the inning with a single to extend his hit streak to eight games. It is the longest active hit streak for the Mustangs. After three straight reaches to start the inning, Nathan Webb (3-3) picked up a strikeout and a double play to get out of the jam and preserve the lead. It was the first of two straight innings the Mustangs would ground into a double play with the bases loaded to end an inning.
Idaho Falls utilized home runs from James and Stephan Vidal down the stretch to cement their three-run win to snap their six-game losing streak. The win also ended the Mustangs' winning streak at six games, representing their first loss since Aug. 11.
The Mustangs and Chukars will play in the finale of their four-game series Monday, Aug. 19. First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. MDT at Melaleuca Field.