Trailing by five runs after five innings, the T-Bones scored one in the sixth, two in the seventh and five in the eighth to defeat the St. Paul Saints, 10-7, on Tuesday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
“We had good discipline at bat and made them throw good pitches to get us out,” said manager Kenny Hook. “If we put those two together, like we didn’t do earlier in the game, I think that’s how you get that result. A lot of pressure was on the pitcher in those situations, and at the plate we recognized that and made them work.”
St. Paul took an early lead, scoring four in the third. Willie Cabrera hit a three-run double and then scored on a ground out by Ole Sheldon, giving St. Paul a 4-0 lead.
The T-Bones drew within 4-1 when Trevor Coleman led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run, but in the fifth the Saints added two more runs thanks to doubles from Benji Johnson, Cabrera and Sheldon.
Kansas City pulled within 6-2 when Hunter Mense hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. The T-Bones continued their comeback in the seventh. Justin Bass scored on a sacrifice fly by Lee Cruz, and both Ray Sadler and Enrique Cruz hit RBI singles, bringing the T-Bones within 6-5.
T-Bones reliever Sean Toler entered the game with two on and no outs in the eighth inning, and although Sheldon scored on a passed ball, Toler struck out all three batters he faced, minimizing the damage and keeping Kansas City within 7-5.
With one out in the eighth, Brandon Jones tied the game with a two-RBI single, prompting the second pitching change of the inning by St. Paul. A walk of Lee Cruz and an error by Saints third baseman Jose Hernandez loaded the bases, and pitcher Dustin Klabunde walked in the winning run. Enrique Cruz hit a two-RBI single, boosting Kansas City’s advantage to 10-7 and capping a five-run inning.
Kansas City (35-29) continues its nine-game home stand on Tuesday with the second game of the series against St. Paul (31-30).