Kansas City had the Goldeyes set up perfectly after home runs from its eight and nine hitters in the late innings, but closer Mark Haynes was unable to shut the door as Winnipeg beat the T-Bones, 5-4, on a walk-off hit in the ninth Saturday night at Shaw Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Sunday afternoon also was a loss for the T-Bones, who dropped a 2-0 game to the Goldeyes in Winnipeg.
On Saturday, trailing 2-0 after a first inning two-run home run by Reggie Abercrombie, the T-Bones got on the board for the first time in the fourth. With two outs in the inning and Anthony Gallas on first, Dalton Wheat singled, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Tyler Moore then reached on a fielder’s choice, but a bad throw by shortstop Maikol Gonzalez allowed Gallas to score, cutting Winnipeg’s lead to 2-1.
The T-Bones took the lead in the seventh. Wheat led off the inning with another base hit before Moore launched a home run over the left field wall that gave Kansas City a 3-2 lead. It was Moore’s first professional homer and second hit of the night.
After Kansas City starter Jordan Cooper retired the Goldeyes in order in the seventh and eighth innings, the T-Bones added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when the number nine hitter, Sergio Leon, who had been hitless in the series with three strikeouts, hit a home run off a flag pole beyond the left-field wall.
A 4-2 lead would seemingly be enough for Kansas City’s All-Star and one of the league’s best closers, Haynes. However, Haynes (1-1) was shaky from the get-go. He walked the first two batters in the ninth — Adam Heisler and Willie Cabrera — and then gave up an RBI single to Abercrombie. Two batters later, Haynes intentionally walked Casio Grider to load the bases. He got the second out of the inning by striking out Jacob Rogers. But then Haynes walked Ridge Hoopii-Haslam, which tied the game at 4-4, before giving up a base hit to Carlton Tanabe that scored Abercrombie. It was the second-consecutive walk-off hit for Winnipeg in this series, after they won Friday night, 16-15, on a base hit in the 11th.
Cooper left the game after the eighth inning, having thrown 99 pitches and giving up five hits and two runs.
On Sunday, in a game that didn’t feature the drama of the first two nights of the series, the Winnipeg Goldeyes completed a three-game sweep of the Kansas City T-Bones with a 2-0 win at Shaw Park.
After back-to-back nights of walk-off wins for the Goldeyes — 16-15 in 11 innings Friday and 5-4 in nine innings Saturday — Winnipeg got behind a strong pitching performance by starter Edwin Carl and handed Kansas City its season-high fifth consecutive loss.
The T-Bones, after getting 24 hits in the first two games of the series, struggled to get their offense going against Carl (6-5), who allowed only two hits, a first-inning single to Tyler Massey and a seventh-inning single to Dalton Wheat, which extended Wheat’s hitting streak to eight games.
The only time Kansas City really threatened offensively was in the fourth inning. The T-Bones loaded the bases with one out, thanks to an error by Winnipeg third baseman Wes Darvill that put Starlin Rodriguez on base, and then walks to Massey and Anthony Gallas. But Vladimir Frias grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed first baseman David Rohm to force out Rodriguez at home, and then Wheat ended the inning with a strikeout.
In the bottom of that inning, the Goldeyes took a 1-0 lead. Josh Romanski reached on a one-out single and stole second, before Darvill knocked him in with a base hit off Kansas City starter Josh Hodges.
Winnipeg extended its lead in the sixth inning after Frias extended the inning with an error. Frias bobbled a two-out grounder by Rohm with Reggie Abercrombie at second. The next batter, Darvill, got his second RBI of the game as he roped a base hit to right center that scored Abercrombie and gave the Goldeyes a 2-0 lead.
Hodges (3-6) scattered seven hits and one walk, and allowed two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings. Hodges also struck out seven. For Winnipeg, Carl struck out six, walked four and allowed the two hits in 6 innings. Eric Eadington pitched the final three innings and got his fourth save of the season.
Kansas City (29-39) is off until Thursday for the All-Star break. They’ll resume play with a four-game series at Sioux City. All of the action can be heard online at TBonesBaseball.com.
– Story from Matt Fulks, T-Bones