07/17/2016 10:03 PM
JOPLIN, Mo. — Kansas City scored seven late runs but couldn’t hold the lead in the ninth, losing 9-8 on a walk-off home run in the 12th to Joplin on Sunday night at Joe Becker Stadium.
The T-Bones trailed from the bottom of the first inning until the top of the ninth. In the ninth, trailing 7-4 after scoring two in the seventh and one in the eighth, the bottom-third of the Kansas City lineup would have to get things going against Joplin reliever Victor Capellan, who had given up only four runs in 29 innings (0.93 ERA). The first four batters reached against Capellan, with Brett Wiley walking, Steve Swingle singling, and pinch-hitter Dalton Wheat walking. With the bases loaded, Tyson Gillies, who led off the game with a home run, roped a bases-clearing triple to right that tied the game at 7-7. Starlin Rodriguez then tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Gillies and gave Kansas City its first lead of the night. The lead was short-lived, however.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, T-Bones closer Mark Haynes gave up a single to KC Huth. After inducing a fly out by Sean Smith for the second out, Haynes had the next two batters, Mitch Glasser and Geraldo Valentin, down to their final strikes. Each batter singled, with Valentin’s scoring Huth on a close play at the plate. On the play, Glasser got too far off third, though, and was thrown out by catcher Swingle.
The T-Bones had a chance to score in the top of the 10th after Wiley tripled with one out. But he was stranded there as Swingle lined out and Wheat grounded out, ending the inning.
The Blasters broke through in the bottom of the 12th against Aaron Baker. After Glasser grounded out to Baker, Valentin hit a walk-off home run. Baker (2-3) is now 1-2 on this 10-game road trip.
After Kansas City took a quick 1-0 lead in the first on Gillies’ homer, the Blasters tagged T-Bones starter Jared Messer for three runs in the bottom of the inning with one swing of the bat. With Sean Smith (single) and Valentin (walk) on base, Charlie Valerio hit his sixth home run of the season, giving the Blasters a 3-1 lead. Joplin, which added two more in the fourth and one in both the fifth and sixth innings, wouldn’t relinquish the lead until the ninth.
Joplin won two of the three games in the series, marking the first series loss for Kansas City since being swept by Fargo-Moorhead, June 24-27, at CommunityAmerica Ballpark — a span of five series. Since that series against the RedHawks, the T-Bones won four consecutive series before splitting their four-game series at Laredo last week.
Kansas City (25-31) will have Monday off before traveling to Lincoln for a three-game series beginning Tuesday night. All of the action can be heard online at TBonesBaseball.com.