T-Bones score late to even series with Winnipeg
By all definitions, the T-Bones Wednesday night meeting with the Winnipeg Goldeyes was a back-and-forth affair. Fortunately, the home team found itself in front when the final out was recorded.
Kansas City (39-32) lost a two-run lead in the top of the eighth, but responded with four more in the bottom of the inning and claimed a 7-4 win at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
T-Bone starter Josh Rainwater took a 3-1 lead into the eighth, but allowed Winnipeg (40-29) to load the bases with one out. Reliever Brad Furnish allowed all three runners to score, leaving his squad on the wrong end of a 4-3 score.
However, the Goldeye lead was short-lived, as KC took advantage of two defensive mishaps and went back in front in the home half of the frame. A throwing error gave the T-Bones runners on the corners with just one out, and third baseman Enrique Cruz started off the rally when he drove in designated hitter Lee Cruz on a single to right field. Winnipeg reliever Griffin Bailey then tried to pick Enrique Cruz off at first, but his throw sailed wide. That allowed right fielder Ray Sadler to score, while Cruz moved to third on the play.
"In situations like that, it kind of gives you a little momentum when they make a mistake," manager Kenny Hook said. "Over the course of the season, I think all that stuff evens out."
Catcher Pat Trettel extended the lead with a two-run double. The Goldeyes loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, but closer Mike Mehlich pitched his way out of the jam to preserve the win.
Hook's squad opened scoring in the first when left fielder Brandon Jones drove in center fielder Justin Bass with an RBI groundout. Enrique Cruz made it 2-0 with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly and Jones drove in another in the fifth. Winnipeg got on the board when Josh Mazzola hit a solo home run in the seventh.
Rainwater was charged with all four Goldeye runs, but went more than seven innings for his second straight start. He struck out one and walked one while giving up nine hits.
"Even in the last inning when he got in trouble, he made good pitches," Hook said of Rainwater. "He was right around 100 (pitches), so I was fine with that. I thought he pitched great."
Furnish earned his first win of the season and Mehlich picked up his ninth save.
The T-Bones are now back within two games of the Goldeyes in the wild card standings. They can cut that margin in half with a win in Friday's series finale. KC starter Luke Irvine will square off against Winnipeg's Matthew Rusch at 7:05 p.m.
"All the games are big this time of year," Hook said. "When you're playing people you're directly in competition with for a playoff spot, that's the only opportunity to make up a full game, so that's huge."
Score by inning
Winnipeg 000 000 130 — 4 10 2
Kansas City 100 110 04X — 7 10 1
WINNIPEG: 2B — A. Ramon. 3B — None. HR — J. Mazzola. RBI — J. Mazzola 3, K. Day. SB — C. Roberson. E — A. Ramon, G. Bailey.
KANSAS CITY: 2B — L. Cruz, P. Trettel. 3B — J. Bass. HR — None. RBI — B. Jones 2, E. Cruz 2, P. Trettel 2. SB — B. Jones, A. De La Garza. E — T. Coleman.
WP — B. Furnish (1-0). LP — G. Bailey (3-4). S — M. Mehlich (9).