07/02/2005 11:44 PM - Click here for the box score.
It wasn't quite Roy Hobbs homering into the lights at War Memorial Stadium. But Mike Brown will take it just the same, as the Kansas City T-Bones second baseman homered to left against Sioux City Explorer reliever Sean Kramer (L, 1-2) in the top of the fourteenth inning to stake the T-Bones to a 9-7 lead and keep the T-Bones in first place.
Brown had hammered a three-run walkoff shot with one out in the ninth inning against Kramer at CommunityAmerica Ballpark last August 26, helping the T-Bones to a second-half South Division crown. Saturday night, it was a two-run tiebreaker.
Three batters later, Rick Prieto suffered what appeared to be a pulled hamstring legging out an infield single. The veteran center fielder's status was undetermined as of writing, but an extended absence for Prieto could make this emotional win a Pyrrhic victory.
Sioux City scored first, with two runs coming across on a Ryan Ruiz single to center against T-Bones starter Jonathan Krysa. Krysa worked six innings and allowed just those two runs before entrusting the bullpen with a 6-2 lead.
The T-Bones had tied the game with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings before Brandon Jones crushed a 2-1 pitch from starter J.C. Huguet deep to left in the sixth. The home run, Jones' seventh of the season, was his first since June 7 and his first career grand slam.
Sioux City would claw back with one in the seventh on a fielder's choice, and in the bottom of the eighth Ian Church doubled in two runs against reliever Adam Clay to tie the game at six apiece.
It would stay that way until Kansas City, Kan., native Eric Vega untied the game in the thirteenth with a solo homer against Kramer that nearly made a winner of T-Bones reliever Nate Ruhl, who worked 4.1 scoreless innings in relief. But righthander Caleb Balbuena allowed the tying run in the bottom of the thirteenth before Brown's deciding blow.
Sioux City had plenty of chances in the game, leaving the bases loaded four times and stranding a total of 22 men in the game, just one short of the Northern League record. Krysa and five T-Bone relievers worked out of trouble all night long. Ultimately, reliever Caleb Balbuena (W, 2-1) earned the win with a scoreless fourteenth inning.
The T-Bones will send Jon McDonald to the mound against Rob Purvis tomorrow at 7:05 pm in a game that will be broadcast on KCKN 1340 AM and www.tbonesbaseball.com.