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PRESS BOX

GAME NOTES 7/6

07/06/2012 3:51 PM -
NEWS AND NOTES
Kenny’s Korner

On the team’s offensive performance, which included four home runs:
“I think it’s just a matter of trying to square the ball up the middle of the field. (Enrique) Cruz was the only one who really pulled. Most of the time we’ve been staying on them about working the middle of the field. You get a good pitch to hit, one that’s elevated, and put a good swing on it, and those home runs are going to happen.”

On the confidence he has in starter Luke Irvine, who threw a team-high nine strikeouts on Thursday night:
 “I have known Luke since his first day in college and have seen a transformation in him. I have a great deal of confidence in him, and this is the kind of outing I think you’re going to see more of from him as he gets comfortable in the starting rotation. His velocity has continued to jump, and he’s getting a better feel for his breaking pitches, so he can be dominant. I love that he attacks the zone with his fastball. When he’s on and hitting his spots, he can be tough.”

On Gus Milner’s night at the plate, which included an RBI single, double and two-run homer against his former team:

“It’s nice to see. With Gus, it is just a matter of being a little more aggressive. Gus kind of thinks a lot and is a very intelligent player. Sometimes he needs to just react and go out there and trust his skills. He’s a very talented player. It gets your juices flowing when you play your former team, so I think you saw a little bit of that. He was more aggressive tonight, and I think that’s why the result was what it was.”

T-Bones welcome seven Royals All-Stars in “Turn Back the Clock Night”
The T-Bones will be saluting Royals Hall of Fame players John Mayberry, Hal McRae, Amos Otis, Fred Patek, Willie Wilson and, of course, current T-Bones coach Frank White, presented by COUNTRY Financial. Joining the group will be long-time Royals trainer Mickey Cobb, who was selected as trainer for two All-Star games.

The former All-Stars are scheduled for a post-game autograph session. The following fees apply:
-- $5 per player, limit one item per player;
-- $30 for all seven Royals All-Stars (limit one item per player);
-- Additional items to be signed will be $5 each. A portion of proceeds is going to charity.

All-Star Bios:

John Mayberry
, two-time All-Star and Royals first baseman from 1972-77, hit 34 home runs in 1975, which was still the Royals team record when he retired in 1982. He was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1996.

Hal McRae
, four-time All-Star (once as a coach) and a Royals outfielder and designated hitter from 1973-87, hit better than .300 six times during his Royals career. McRae was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 1989.

Amos Otis
, five-time All-Star selection and Royals outfielder from 1970-83. During the 1973 All-Star Game, played in Kansas City, Otis went two for two with a stolen base and the American League’s lone RBI. He was in the inaugural class for the Royals Hall of Fame in 1986.

Fred Patek
, two-time All-Star and Royals shortstop from 1971-79, led the American League in 1971 with 11 triples. Patek was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1992.

Willie Wilson
, two-time All-Star and a Royals outfielder known for his blazing speed from 1976-90, had at least 100 hits from both sides of the plate in 1980, and was the A.L. batting champ in 1982. Wilson was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 2000.
Frank White, a five-time Royals All-Star, played second base for the team from 1973-90. In 1977, he went 62 consecutive games without an error. In 1980, White was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship series, helping lead the Royals to their first World Series appearance. In 1995 his number was retired and he was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame. White is now the first base coach for the Kansas City T-Bones.

Home run derby
The T-Bones hit four homers in game three against the Pheasants, the most the team has collected in a game all season. The offensive onslaught began with a two-run homer by Gus Milner in the second, continued with a three-run bomb by Enrique Cruz in the sixth and concluded with back-to-back blasts by Brandon Jones and Ray Sadler.

Irvine sets season high in strikeouts
Thursday night Kansas City reliever-turned-starter Luke Irvine got his first start at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. In seven innings he gave up one run on four hits while striking out nine batters.
Manager Kenny Hook said before the game he expected Irvine to strike out between seven and 10 batters, so the results yesterday did not surprise him.
“When you have that type of velocity and you have the breaking pitch to go with it, you’re going to get strikeouts because guys have to cheat a little bit, and they’re going to get some swinging misses on breaking pitches,” Hook said.
Irvine made his debut as a starter for the T-Bones during the recent road series against Gary SouthShore on June 26. In his first start, Irvine gave up six runs on nine hits to the RailCats.He also started on June 30 at Lincoln. In that contest, Irvine went six innings, gave up two runs on six hits and struck out eight.
After making 16 appearances out of the bullpen this season, Irvine took the place of former starter Nick Singleton, whom the team traded to El Paso. 

Former Pheasant Milner performs well against old team
Center fielder Gus Milner, who spent 2010 and 2011 with the Sioux Falls Pheasants, had a huge game against his former club on Thursday night. He helped the T-Bones build an early lead with a double in the first inning and a two-run homer in the second. He finished the game three for five, raising his batting average to .287. 

Series may have wild card implications later
Every game is important, but the conclusion of this four-game series between Kansas City and Sioux Falls could determine who goes to the playoffs and who gets left out. Before the T-Bones took a 2-1 series lead with a 13-1 win on Thursday night, manager Kenny Hook called that game one of the most important Kansas City had played to that point. After the game, he reaffirmed how helpful a win in the series would be.

“We don’t play them again on the schedule, and you never know how it’s going to play out,” Hook said. “To take three out of four from them, if there ends up being a tiebreaker, then you have the head-to-head against them, so it’s very important.

Kansas City is in second place in the Central Division, trailing Wichita by six games. However, the Wingnuts are on a three-game losing streak, so the T-Bones have an opportunity to catch up.

“Wichita’s in a tough stretch schedule-wise, so we’ve got to try to win and make up as much ground as possible, so every game is very important,” Hook said.

One Year Ago Today …
On July 6, 2011, current T-Bones reliever Matt Mitchell surrendered just four hits to the Wichita Wingnuts at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium as the right-hander led Kansas City to a 1-0 victory with a complete-game masterpiece.

Mitchell allowed just seven base runners in his first career shutout, and only two runners advanced to second in the contest. The former Royals prospect retired his final seven batters of the game, including back-to-back strikeouts to cap the effort.

The lone run of the contest came in the top of the first inning when Keanon Simon singled off Jared Bradford with one out and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Kala Ka’aihue, who began this season with the T-Bones before retiring from baseball last month.

Kansas City outhit Wichita 10-4 in the game.
 


Bradford suffered the loss in his Wingnuts debut after allowing one run on seven hits in four innings of work.

Mitchell threw 113 pitches in his outing, 72 for strikes, as he struck out four while walking two. The complete-game shutout is just the ninth in T-Bones history, and the first since Cody McAllister blanked the Schaumburg Flyers 6-0 on June 30, 2010.

SERIES NOTES

Sizing up Sioux Falls
The Sioux Falls Pheasants are currently in second place in the North Division with a record of 25-20. Following a four-game series sweep of the Gary SouthShore
RailCats, the Pheasants entered this week’s series in Kansas City on a five-game winning streak.
Cristian Guerrero, the cousin of Major League outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, provides a huge boost to the Sioux Falls offense, as his 12 home runs this season are the second most in the league. Jonny Kaplan leads the Pheasants with a .342 average. Sioux Falls has five players who have accumulated a .300 or better average in at least 135 official at-bats.

On the mound, yesterday’s starter Mark Michael currently leads the team with five wins. Before taking the loss on Thursday, Michael was 4-0 in his last four starts and had allowed only three earned runs over 27 innings. Kyle Mertins has performed well out of the bullpen, leading Sioux Falls with a team-low 1.01 ERA. Used primarily as a setup man, Mertins has struck out 32 batters while only walking seven in 26 2/3 innings of work.
 
Last Time against the Pheasants
This week is the first series between the T-Bones and the Pheasants since last season, when the teams split a four-game series in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Monday, June 20, 2011
Sioux Falls jumped out to an early lead on its way to a 9-5 victory in the first game of a four-game series against the T-Bones last year. The Pheasants scored four runs on four hits in the first inning against Kansas City pitcher Matt Mitchell, who is still part of the rotation.
One of the home runs hit against Mitchell came off the bat of Gus Milner, then with the Pheasants, who is now a regular in Kansas City’s lineup.
Ray Sadler, who returned to the T-Bones in 2012 after playing abroad earlier in the year, blasted a two-run homer in the game. Kala Ka’aihue, who just recently retired from baseball after beginning the season with the T-Bones, also hit a two-run homer that night.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Kansas City exacted some revenge in game two of the series, dominating Sioux Falls 16-3. Ka’aihue hit two home runs in the game, and Sadler went two-for-six with six RBIs.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Sioux Falls regained its advantage in the series with a 6-3 win in game three. The Pheasants took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning, and the T-Bones could not come back.

Thursday, June 23, 2011
The T-Bones overcame a 5-0 deficit with nine straight runs, salvaging the series split with a 9-5 victory. The Pheasants took an early lead against Kansas City pitcher Devin Anderson, who is still part of the T-Bones rotation, by scoring three in the first inning and two in the second.
The T-Bones’ comeback began when the team scored six runs in the top of the sixth inning and took a 6-5 lead. They scored two more in the eighth and one in the ninth.
Kansas City pitcher Andy Shipman, now the T-Bones’ pitching coach, struck out two of three batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth, sealing the wi.

Last Night’s Game
Milner, Irvine help T-Bones dominate Sioux Falls in game three of the series

Behind a 15-hit and four home run offensive night and a dominant pitching performance from starter Lucas Irvine, Kansas City rolled to a 13-1 victory over the Sioux Falls Pheasants on Thursday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Irvine (1-0), a Liberty, Mo., native making his third start of the season and first at home, was locked in all night. He went seven innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out nine, which is a team high on the season.

The T-Bones jumped on Pheasants starter Mark Michael (5-3) with four runs in the first two innings, including a two-run home run to center field in the second inning by Milner (4) that gave the T-Bones a 4-1 lead. Milner, from nearby Olathe, Kan., went three for five in the game with three RBIs and three runs.
Still holding a 4-1 lead, the T-Bones exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth. A flurry of RBI singles by Jose Duran, Devin Goodwin, Justin Bass and Milner gave the T-Bones four runs. The big hit of the inning came on a three-run homer from Enrique Cruz over the left field wall. Kansas City sent 10 men to the plate in the inning, collecting seven hits.

After missing the past three games because of an injured wrist, Brandon Jones led off the bottom of the eighth with a towering drive onto the right field berm. Jones went two for four in his return. Following Jones’ home run, Ray Sadler launched a homer into the T-Bones’ bullpen in deep left-center field.

SERIES INFORMATION


Games

TUESDAY, JULY 3

FINAL: T-Bones 6, Pheasants 4
T-Bones: RHP Shaun Garceau (W, 5-0)
Pheasants: RHP Rod Scurry (L, 3-2)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4
FINAL: Pheasants 7, T-Bones 2
T-Bones: RHP Josh Rainwater (L, 3-4)
Pheasants: LHP Pete Gehle (W, 4-3)
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 7:05
FINAL: T-Bones 13, Pheasants 1
T-Bones: RHP Lucas Irvine (0-0, 3.70)
Pheasants: RHP Mark Michael (5-2, 3.75)
FRIDAY, JULY 6, 7:05
T-Bones: LHP Devin Anderson (2-4, 4.15)
Pheasants: RHP Alan DeRatt (2-2, 4.41)

Upcoming Schedule
DATE                OPPONENT   
7/7                @Fargo-Moorhead
7/8                 @Fargo-Moorhead
7/9                @Fargo-Moorhead
7/10                @Fargo-Moorhead
7/11                @Wichita
7/12                @Wichita 

Promotions
Fun…Well Done
Tonight:- Turn Back the Clock Night: T-Bones Salute KC Royals All-Stars of the Past, presented by COUNTRY Financial. Meet John Mayberry, Amos Otis, Fred Patek, Hal McRae, Willie Wilson and Frank White.
- Salute to America Theme Night. Wear Red, White & Blue and receive buy-one-get-one-free GA/Berm tickets.
- Appearance by the Falcon Skydiving Team.