07/10/2005 5:00 PM - Kansas City T-Bones starter Greg Bicknell allowed two runs in the first inning, but that was all the Gary SouthShore RailCats could muster against the righthander, who earned his league-leading ninth win of the season. Bicknell (W, 9-1) was helped by an offense that pounded out ten hits, including three from rookie first baseman Scott Lucas and two from newcomer Rafael Rodriguez.
Rodriguez drove in four runs on the day, the biggest hit coming in the top of the sixth when his bases-loaded single up the middle gave the T-Bones a 5-2 lead. The shortstop also drove in a run with a single to right in the second inning and a sacrifice fly in the ninth to give the T-Bones their final run.
After Bicknell's first-inning struggles, he settled down well and struck out five in his six innings of work. The veteran retired the last five batters he faced and handed things over to the T-Bones bullpen, who retired another seven consecutively before David Weiner's single to left in the ninth inning against reliever Joe Goodmann.
Quintin Oldenburg (L, 8-3) started for the RailCats and was trying to earn his ninth win of the season. But the native of Appleton, Wis., struggled through his five innings and allowed four walks and hit two batters; three of those free passes scored and gave the T-Bones a 3-2 lead by the time Oldenburg was sent to the showers.
Eric Vega was once again a pest at the top of the order, scoring twice and driving in a run with a sacrifice fly. Vega's infield single in the eighth inning resulted in two Gary throwing errors that allowed a run to score and put Vega on third base.
The South Division race had been decided with last night's 13-9 win by the St. Paul Saints; however, this game may have wild card implications later in theseason, as if the same team wins both halves in either division the team with the best overall record not already in the playoffs would qualify.
The T-Bones have an off day tomorrow but return home for a Tuesday night game against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at 7:05 pm. The game will be broadcast live on KCKN 1340 AM and www.tbonesbaseball.com as well as on television on MetroSports and via the Internet on B2 Networks. Tuesday night is Hockey Night in "Kan-ada" at CommunityAmerica Ballpark; all fans who bring five cans of food as a donation to Harvesters will receive a free general admission ticket to that night's game.