05/23/2014 9:39 PM
Rick Zagone picked up his second win of the season Friday. (2013 file photo by Matthew Hicks.)
By MATT McMULLEN
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The T-Bones found their power stroke at CommunityAmerica Ballpark Friday night, slugging their way to a 5-4 victory over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
The RedHawks jumped out to an early lead on Kansas City starter Rick Zagone. Zach Penprase led off the game with a double off the left field wall and quickly came around to score on a Ronnie Bourquin double. Sawyer Carroll later scored Bourquin on a sacrifice fly that pushed the Fargo-Moorhead advantage to 2-0.
Zagone (2-0) then settled down and retired 20-of-21 RedHawk batters, including a stretch where he retired 11 in a row. He finished the night with six strikeouts over his seven innings of work. Zagone’s long outing allowed for the majority of the Kansas City bullpen to have a much-needed night off. The bullpen has tossed a staggering 40 innings in only nine games so far this season.
“(Zagone) really picked up our bullpen,” Kansas City manager John Massarelli said. “He had a good angle on all of his pitches, he threw his changeup whenever he wanted to, and he was down in the zone getting ground balls or pop-ups. He was missing barrels.”
Kansas City finally got to Fargo-Moorhead starter Brian Ernst (0-2) in the fourth. Robby Kuzdale legged out a bases loaded, RBI fielder’s choice that scored Danny Richar and cut the deficit in half. Byron Wiley then mashed a three-run home run over the right field wall, giving the T-Bones a 4-2 lead.
The T-Bones added to their lead in the sixth. Kuzdale tripled to centerfield off Fargo reliever Justin Erasmus and came home on a wild pitch soon afterwards, extending their lead to 5-2.
In total, the T-Bones muscled four extra-base hits Friday night after only hitting five in their first five games at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
“These guys want to hit badly, and they’re a good hitting club,” Massarelli said. “If that kind of thing happens in mid-July nobody thinks about it. But (it’s news) because it’s the first week, and the team is going through a little bit of a rut trying to get things going. We’re a good offensive club and we’re going to score a lot of runs. We’ve just got to be patient and grind things out.”
The RedHawks rallied in the ninth, scoring two and putting the tying run on base. Kansas City reliever Kris Regas forced a groundout that ended the game and gave Regas his second save.
With the win, Kansas City moves to 4-5 on the season, while the RedHawks fall to 4-4. The T-Bones continue their four-game series with Fargo-Moorhead on Saturday night at 7:05. Tickets are available by calling the Providence Medical Center Box Office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618.