T-Bones keep playoff hopes alive with 11-8 win

T-Bones shortstop Niko Vasquez hit a three-run home run in the third inning. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

The Kansas City T-Bones shook off an early four-run deficit to win Sunday evening’s game over the St. Paul Saints 11 – 8. The win kept alive the T-Bones playoff chances going into the regular season’s final game.

The T-Bones play the Saints at 1 p.m. Monday at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, Kansas. The T-Bones are celebrating Fan Appreciation Day with a “Kids Eat Free” promotion and $1 general admission tickets.

The T-Bones earned the win for reliever Grant Sides with three runs in the 7th inning, after the Saints had scored four in the top of the inning. Designated hitter Tucker Pennell struck a two-run double, and center fielder Cedric Hunter hit an RBI single to take the 10 – 8 lead.

The T-Bones added a run in the eighth to complete the scoring, helped by two wild pitches from Saints reliever Ivan Vieitez, who took the loss. American Association Relief Pitcher of the Year winner Cody Winiarski pitched the ninth inning for the T-Bones to get the save.

The beginning of the game did not look promising, with T-Bones starter Jared Mortensen giving up two runs in each of the first two innings, assisted by some leaky defense. The T-Bones hit the ball solidly in the first two innings, but weren’t able to score.

The T-Bones turned up the power in the bottom of the third, with a three-run home run by Niko Vazquez, followed two batters later by Kyle Petty with a two-run homer.

The T-Bones extended their lead to 7 – 4 in the sixth inning, scoring on a sacrifice bunt from second baseman Marcus Lemon and a sacrifice fly from first baseman Kevin Keyes.

The T-Bones are still in contention for the second wild card spot in the American Association playoffs. To take advantage, they will need a win today, along with losses by the Gary Southshore Railcats and Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks.

Photos copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel

T-Bones left fielder Kyle Petty hit a two-run home run in the third inning. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

T-Bones mascot Sizzle came face to face with the winner of the cutest baby contest. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Starting pitcher Jared Mortensen pitched six innings, giving up six earned runs. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Catcher Zane Chavez tagged out the Saints’ Maxx Garrett on a collision at home plate. Kyle Petty made the throw from left field for the assist. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Pitcher Grant Sides celebrated after applying the final tag in a six-throw rundown play that involved holding runners on second and third base. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Right fielder Chantz Mack’s shattered bat sailed into the infield. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Catcher Zane Chavez hit an RBI single in the eighth inning to give the T-Bones a three-run lead. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)


Catcher Zane Chavez hit an RBI single in the eighth inning to give the T-Bones a three-run lead. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Reliever Cody Winiarski pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save. Winiarski was named the American Association’s Relief Pitcher of the Year and was named to the league’s post-season all-star team. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

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