T-Bones

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For the second consecutive night, Kansas City and Laredo went extra innings, but Tuesday night it was the Lemurs beating the T-Bones, 14-11, in 11 innings at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

A night after Kansas City scored two runs in the bottom of the 12th and won 10-9, Tuesday night’s game included another wild finish.

In the top of the 11th, using the league’s international tiebreaker rule, which puts a runner at second base, Abel Nieves went to third on a single by Kevin Taylor and then broke the 9-9 tie on a double by Denis Phipps.

Two batters later, with the bases loaded and Kansas City’s infield drawn in, J.D. Pulfer grounded a ball to second baseman Brent Peterson, who threw home for what appeared to be a force at the plate for the first out. Instead, Taylor was called safe as the home plate umpire said catcher Brian Erie came off the plate on the throw. Laredo added three more runs by the end of the inning, for a 14-9 lead.

The T-Bones threatened in the bottom of the 11th, with the bases loaded after Laredo pitcher Luis De La Cruz hit back-to-back batters, Vladimir Frias and Robby Kuzdale. Pinch-hitter Jacob Hayes and Nate Tenbrink each walked with the bases loaded, but the T-Bones couldn’t find the timely hit to get any closer.

The game looked promising early for Kansas City, when the T-Bones got on the board first with a six-run, 11-batter second inning.

Adam Bailey led off the inning with a double and then scored on an RBI single by Kyle Robinson. Frias and Kuzdale each followed with singles before Peterson roped a two-run single that scored both runners.

After Starlin Rodriguez reached on a fielder’s choice, Tenbrink knocked in Peterson. The final run of the inning, Rodriguez, scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Bailey. That 6-0 lead wasn’t safe.

The Lemurs came right back in the top of the third and scored three runs, thanks largely to lead-off singles by Juan Silverio and Phil Pohl, and Ty Morrison being hit by a Bobby Doran pitch.

The next three batters, Nieves, Taylor and Phipps then each scored Silverio, Pohl and Morrison, cutting Kansas City’s lead in half.

The T-Bones extended their lead in the fourth. Rodriguez reached on an error and then scored on a triple by Tenbrink. After Jake Blackwood walked, Bailey hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Tenbrink, and gave Kansas City an 8-3 lead.

Laredo added a run in the fifth on a solo home run by Nieves, and then tied the game with a four-run seventh inning, highlighted by an RBI double Phipps and a two-run single by Travis Denker.

For the second consecutive game, Tenbrink ended the night with three hits — two singles and a triple, along with three RBIs and a run scored.

The T-Bones (49-44) and Lemurs (53-42) are scheduled to play game three Wednesday night at 7:05. Tickets are available by calling the box office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618 or online at tbonesbaseball.com.
– Story from T-Bones

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Robby Kuzdale laid down a perfect suicide squeeze that gave Kansas City the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday night, but it was his hit four innings later that sealed the game for the T-Bones as they beat Laredo, 10-9, in 12 innings at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

In the 12th inning, with the American Association’s use of the international tiebreaker rule, Jake Blackwood started at second base for Kansas City, after the Lemurs took a 9-8 lead in the top of the inning.

Adam Bailey led off the bottom of the 12th with a high chopper that pitcher BJ Hyatt couldn’t handle and both runners were safe for Kansas City. After Kyle Robinson struck out, the Lemurs intentionally walked Vladimir Frias.

With the bases loaded, Blackwood was unable to score on a short fly to right by Alex Marquez. Kuzdale, however, with a 2-0 count, roped a single to left that scored Blackwood and Bailey, and gave the T-Bones the win.

It’s a far cry from the ominous start more than four hours earlier, when Laredo sent 10 to the plate and tagged Kansas City starter Jeremy Strawn for five runs on seven hits in the first inning.

The T-Bones came right back, though, in the bottom of the first and got three runs. Starlin Rodriguez led off the inning with a single and then Nate Tenbrink, who was announced earlier in the day as the league’s Player of the Week, launched a two-run home run to right.

Blackwood then doubled and went to third on a groundout by Bailey. Robinson gave Kansas City another run with a sacrifice fly to deep center that scored Blackwood, making it a 5-3 game.

Kansas City tied the game in the bottom of the third on a home run by Bailey. The two teams then exchanged runs and remained tied at 6-6 until the T-Bones’ half of the eighth.

After Frias led off the inning with a triple and Brian Erie struck out, Kuzdale put down a perfect suicide squeeze that scored Frias, who got a great jump, and gave Kansas City a 7-6 lead.

Closer Fernando Hernandez was unable to get his 21st save, however, as Laredo tacked on a run in the top of the ninth. With one out, Ty Morrison got his third hit of the night and went to second on Abel Nieves’ fourth hit of the game. Then, with Kevin Taylor at the plate and Morrison running on an 0-2 pitch, Taylor grounded the ball back to Hernandez, who got the force at second, but on the double-play attempt, the ball bounced out of Blackwood’s glove, allowing Morrison to tie the game.

Bailey and Tenbrink each had three hits for Kansas City. Tenbrink, who leads the T-Bones with 22 doubles, was a double shy of hitting for the cycle.

Following his homer in the first, Tenbrink hit an RBI single in the second and a lead-off triple in the fifth. In his final two at-bats of the night, he was hit by a pitch in the seventh and grounded out in the ninth.

With the win and three games remaining in the series, Kansas City is now 3 1/2 games behind Laredo for first in the wild-card standings. Joplin is a half-game behind Laredo.

The T-Bones (49-43) and Lemurs (52-42) are scheduled to play game two Tuesday night at 7:05. Tickets are available by calling the box office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618 or online at tbonesbaseball.com.
– Story from T-Bones

Nate Tenbrink
Nate Tenbrink

The American Association has announced that T-Bones utility player Nate Tenbrink is the league’s Pointstreak Player of the Week for the week ending Aug. 30.

Tenbrink, who’s from Olathe, Kan., and played collegiately at Kansas State University, had five multi-hit games during the past week.

He went 14-for-25 (.560) with six doubles, two triples, four RBIs and eight runs in the last seven games.

Additionally in that stretch, Tenbrink walked six times and struck out only twice. His average climbed from .301 to .320.

Tenbrink had back-to-back perfect games at the plate last week, going 4-for-4 with a walk Wednesday at Amarillo, and 2-for-2 with a walk Thursday against St. Paul at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

Tenbrink is currently second on the team in average, second in hits (107), first in doubles (22), tied for first in triples (3) and first in runs scored (61).

Tenbrink is the second T-Bones player to receive the league honor this season, joining Ryan Cavan, who got it on July 27.

This is the first time Kansas City has had two players receive the recognition in the same season since July 2013, when Devin Goodwin and Matt Padgett were selected as the Player of the Week within two weeks of each other.

The T-Bones continue their final regular-season homestand with a four-game series, starting tonight at 7:05, against wild-card leading Laredo. Kansas City is 4 1/2 games behind Laredo in the wild-card race.

– Story from T-Bones

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