Kevin Keyes Powers Kansas City T-Bones to 7-5 Victory
After falling the two previous nights, the Kansas City T-Bones awoke to the prospect of playing a late morning affair with the Wichita Wingnuts, looking to snap their three-game losing streak. The loss of Zach Walters to the Kansas City Royals earlier in the day had to leave a damper on the prospect of ending the slide, but Kevin Keyes helped to boost the team’s spirits, hitting his 11th home run of the season while driving in three in the 7-5 victory.
Wichita ace Alex Boshers started for the Wingnuts and would find himself in some trouble right off. Omar Garcia started the game by lining a single into right and Marcus Lemon followed with a double that moved Garcia to third. Next up was Keyes. He fell behind 1-2, but the next pitch bounced in the dirt for a wild pitch and Garcia scored. Keyes worked the count full, fouling off three pitches to stay alive. On the ninth pitch from Boshers, Keyes crushed it over the right field wall for his 11th homer of the season to make it 3-0.
In the second, Kansas City extended their lead. Eddie Newton singled with one out and moved to second on a ground out by Garcia. Lemon doubled to center to score Newton and he came home on a triple by Keyes. That made it 5-0.
The Wingnuts would get those two runs right back in the bottom of the second. T.J. Mittelstaedt began the inning with a walk and moved to second on a base hit by Matt Chavez. Next up was Brennen Salgado, who singled into right field, scoring Mittelstaedt to make it 5-1. Following a double-play, Zac Fisher singled to score Chavez and it was a three-run game.
In the bottom of the fifth, Fisher would cut the deficit to two. The first pitch he saw from Scott Carroll he drilled over the right-center field wall to make it 5-3. That was Fisher’s third homer of the year.
Following the early runs, Boshers settled down and pitched well over the next three innings. After allowing two-hits in the third, he retired the next seven hitters.
In the sixth, the T-Bones would end the run and extend their lead. Chase McDonald started the inning with a single, bringing Jordan Edgerton to the plate. He would have an outstanding at-bat, much like Keyes earlier in the game. After falling behind 1-2, he would foul off three pitches to work the count full. On the ninth pitch, he hit his first home run of the season to extend the lead to four.
In the eighth, Wichita made this a two-run game again. With Grant Sides on the hill, Christian Stringer reached on an infield single to start the inning, but Sides retired the next two hitters. With the count 1-2 to Matt Chavez, he drilled his sixth homer of the year deep over the batter’s eye to make it 7-5.
Into the ninth the game went, where a controversial call appears to have denied the Wingnuts a base runner. Cody Winiarski came into the game to close it out. He gave up a double to Martin Medina but then retired the next two hitters. Richard Prigatano was the team’s final hopes and it looked like he would reach first on a hit by pitch, but the umpire ruled the contact a foul ball despite the fact that Prigatano appeared to be bleeding. Two pitches later he struck out to end the game, earning Winiarski his third save.
Kevin Keyes finished the game 2-5 with a run and 3-RBI. Marcus Lemon was 3-5 with 2-runs and an RBI. Jordan Edgerton had a big day as well, going 2-4 with a run and 2-RBI. Matt Chavez was perfect for the Wichita Wingnuts, going 4-4 with 2-runs and 2-RBI.
These two teams will finish their four-game series tomorrow. Ryan Kussmaul (2-2, 4.10) will start for Wichita. He will be opposed by Calvin Drummond (1-1, 3.52). Game time is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier