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T-Bones walk-off for seventh straight win

Mike Kickham pitched 9 innings Sunday afternoon
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kansas City swept its second series of the season — and its second consecutive series — in unusual walk-off fashion, 2-1, against Laredo Sunday afternoon at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. The win gives manager John Massarelli 850 in his career.
 
It didn’t come without some stress, though. Tied 1-1, the T-Bones had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, before Tyler Moore struck out. Kansas City starter Mike Kickham, who had a great outing, went out for the ninth inning, and faced one over the minimum, sending the game to the bottom of the ninth. Kickham gave up four hits and walked one, with two strikeouts, in 9 innings pitched. Kickham ended with a no decision after Kamakani Usui retired the T-Bones in order in the bottom of the ninth.
 
After Kansas City reliever Tyler Ybarra (1-0) got the Lemurs in order in the top of the 10th, Usui gave up singles to Jake Blackwood and Anthony Gallas leading off the bottom of the inning. Three batters later, with two outs, the Lemurs again intentionally walked Vladimir Frias to load the bases and get to Moore. This time, with Moore down in the count 0-2, Usui (4-4) hit him in the back with a pitch, which brought home Blackwood and gave the T-Bones the 2-1 win.
 
Kickham’s only rough inning was the fourth, when he gave up a single to Abel Nieves and hit J.D. Pulfer with a pitch. Denis Phipps then singled, loading the bases. A sacrifice fly by Burt Reynolds, the American Association’s leading home run hitter, scored Nieves, giving Laredo the 1-0 lead.
 
Kansas City tied the game 1-1 in the seventh. Starlin Rodriguez and Frias led off the inning with singles before a sacrifice bunt by Moore put them in scoring position. Laredo reliever Luis De La Cruz intentionally walked Tyler Massey before Jimmy Mojica scored Rodriguez on a fielder’s choice grounder, when Laredo forced out Massey at second but couldn’t turn the double play.
 
Kansas City has now won seven straight, its longest winning streak since June 29-July 5, 2015, when the T-Bones swept back-to-back series against Rockland and Gary SouthShore.
 
The T-Bones (37-42) have one day off before heading out for a four-game series in Wichita. The series starts Tuesday night at 5:05 p.m. All of the action can be heard at TBonesBaseball.com.


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