Kansas City T-Bones Defeat Wichita Wingnuts by the Numbers, 6-5
For fans of Sesame Street, this was a night to get excited about the numbers. The Kansas City T-Bones defeated the Wichita Wingnuts in a game centered around counting, giving the visitors the victory in the first game of this series.
Omar Bencomo started for the Wichita Wingnuts, and the T-Bones got a run off of him in the top of the first inning. Nate Tenbrink singled with one out and moved to third on a base hit by Jake Blackwood. Adam Bailey reached on an error that scored Tenbrink and it was quickly 1-0.
In the bottom of the second the Wichita Wingnuts got two runs to take the lead. Matt Padgett singled to start the inning and scored all the way from first when John Nester crushed one to the wall for a triple. Luis Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to score Nester and it was 2-1.
In the third inning the T-Bones scored four, while the Wingnuts came away with three. That gave both teams five runs.
Tenbrink got the rally started again by drawing a one-out walk. Blackwood followed with sixth home run of the season and it was 3-2 Kansas City. Bailey then reached on an error for the second time in the game, this time making it all the way to third on the three-base error, and scored when Robby Kuzdale crushed his sixth home run of the season. That made it 5-2.
Right back came the Wichita Wingnuts, plating three in the bottom half of the third. TJ Mittelstaedt walked and two batters later Joash Brodin singled to make it first and second. Padgett then hit a triple of his own, bringing both runners across the plate to pull the home team within a run. Two batters later Hernandez tied the game with a single to make it 5-5.
The score would remain that way until the Kansas City T-Bones took a 6-5 in the seventh inning. Daniel Bennett retired the first hitter of the inning, but then gave up Adam Bailey’s fourth home run of the season to make it a one-run lead.
From there the Kansas City bullpen looked spectacular. Derek Loera allowed a hit and a walk in the seventh, but also struck out two hitters to keep it a 6-5 lead. Aaron Baker pitched a perfect eighth inning, as did Fernando Hernandez in the ninth. Hernandez earned his eighth save of the season. Bobby Doran (7-1) made the start for Kansas City and earned the win.
Blackwood had a huge game for the T-Bones. He finished 3-5 with a run and 2 RBI. Padgett had 2 hits, 2 runs and 2 RBI for Wichita.
The victory was the fourth in a row for Kansas City, who are just ridiculously hot right now. They have won nine of their last 10, and after starting out the season 1-10, they have gone 24-7 since. An absolutely amazing turnaround that has given the club the top spot in the wild card race, and has moved them just 7 out of first place in the Central Division of the American Association
By Robert Pannier