06/06/2012 9:58 PM
By Brian Bruce
FARGO, N.D. – The Kansas City T-Bones jumped on the hottest starting pitcher in the league in Fargo-Moorehead right-hander Alex Caldera, who came in 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA, scoring five runs during the first two innings, and cruising to an 8-3 win on Wednesday night at Newman Outdoor Field.
The game began in a positive fashion for Kansas City, as leadoff man Gus Milner sliced a single down the right field line and Brandon Jones followed with a line drive single to center. Ray Sadler then walked, which loaded the bases with nobody out. After two quick strike outs, Devin Goodwin hit a bouncing ball to third that went through the legs of Enrique Cruz and allowed two runs to score.
In the top of the second, Kansas City pushed three runs across on two hits and another error by the RedHawks infield. Meanwhile in the inning Caldera walked two T-Bones and hit another as his normally sharp command completely left him. With KC staked to a 5-0 lead, right-hander Matt Mitchell (2-2) took over.
Mitchell, a Barstow, Calif., native, worked scoreless first, second, and third innings. His only trouble inning during the seven-plus that he worked was in the fourth, when he allowed two runs on four hits. Before giving way to right-hander Dan Kickham, Mitchell went 7 1/3 innings, giving up three runs, while striking out four.
Kansas City catcher Trevor Coleman finished the night three-for-five with three singles, one RBI, and one run scored. The suddenly red-hot switch hitter is now seven-for-13 in the series with two doubles and three RBIs. He raised his average to .341.
Kansas City now sits at 10-9 on the season, in second place in the Central Division of the American Association. The finale of the four-game series is set for 7:02 on Thursday night. Brian Grening (2-1; 3.92 ERA) will go for the T-Bones against Paul Burnside (1-2; 4.96) for the RedHawks.