Held, Explorers Bullpen Hold T-Bones Bats Down, 5-0
Sioux City, IA- Not many games in a professional baseball, regular season are labeled as must win, but this game was certainly close to that for the Explorers. Sioux City was able to snap their four game losing streak, and end the T-Bones 12 game winning streak by handing Kansas City their first shut out loss of the season, 5-0.
For the first time in six games Sioux City was able to keep their opponent off the score board. Kansas City threatened in the first but was unable to score leaving a pair of runners stranded which became a continuing theme throughout the game.
The X’s did most of their damage offensively in the second inning putting together a four run rally. Sebastian Zawada began the rally with a base hit down the left field line to score a run. It was followed by a Dylan Kelly single. Both runners were driven home by a double from Kyle Wren who had a three hit game. Wren’s double scored the pair to make it 3-0 and Wren himself scored on a two out double from Nate Samson who gave himself a birthday present putting the X’s up 4-0.
Christian Binford (4-3) was the victim of those four runs as he was saddled with the loss for the T-Bones. He tossed four innings, allowing those four runs on nine hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Sam Held (2-0) earned the win for Sioux City as he made his season debut as a starting pitcher. He gave the Explorers five shut out innings, working around eight hits and two walks while striking out six. Held had made eight appearances out of the pen before making his first start of the season.
Sioux City’s pitching staff was the story of the game as they allowed base runners in every inning but was able to work around it to keep the T-Bones off the score board.
Ryan Flores who has been dominant against Kansas City these last couple of seasons tossed an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief. Jose Velez followed him with an inning and a third.
The Explorers added an insurance run in the eighth when Wren walked with two outs to reach base for the fourth time on the night. He stole second and scored on an infield single from Drew Stankiewicz, coupled with a throwing error by the Kansas City second baseman. On the night Wren went 3-4, with two RBI, two runs, and two stolen bases, padding his league lead in swiped bags to 24.
Matt Pobereyko finished off the shut out with a scoreless ninth. He allowed a lead off double but struck out the final two batters in a non save situation to finish off the shut out win for the X’s.
It was the league leading eighth shut out for the Explorers this season, and they became the first team to shut out the T-Bones in 2019. Sioux City also racked up 11 strikeouts in the contest.
The X’s with the win pull within a half game of the T-bones for the wild card in the South Division and set up a rubber game in the series on Tuesday. Carlos Sierra makes the start for the X’s and will be faced by Dylan Baker, a right hander who draws the start for Kansas City.
By Connor Ryan