09/07/2018 11:36 PM -
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Southern Division playoff series swung in favor of the Kansas City T-Bones Friday evening as back-to-back walks helped lead to a 5-2 win over the Sioux City Explorers. It was a pivotal game three of the best-of-five series as both teams were tied at one game each.
In the bottom of the second, the Explorers put the first run on the board. With two outs, Jay Baum hit into a fielder’s choice to reach first and keep the inning alive. He went on to steal second while Blake Schmit was at bat, then with two outs Baum scored on a bloop single by Schmit that dropped into right center and put the Explorers up 1-0.
Kansas City’s Ryan Brett answered back to tie it in the top of the third. On a 2-0 pitch, Brett crushed a solo home run to deep left to even the game at one each.
It remained tied until the bottom of the fifth when Sioux City's Luis Durango hit an infield single, then three back-to-back, two-out walks pushed him home for the go-ahead run.
But the top of the seventh is when Kansas City took the lead for good. Down by one run, Kansas City loaded the bases without the ball ever leaving the infield grass. Ryan Brett led off with a single to the shortstop and Mason Davis followed up with a bunt single. Todd Cunningham then bunted and reached base on an error by the second baseman. With no outs, Sioux City reliever Parker Markel walked Noah Perio Jr. to push in a run, then walked Adrian Nieto to bring home yet another run and make it 4-2 KC.
The T-Bones got an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Noah Perio Jr. reached on an error by the second baseman, moved up on a putout and scored when Alay Lago singled to center.
A three-run lead was more than enough to lock in the win for Kansas City as they won 5-2. The bullpen held the Explorers at two, not giving up any runs in the final four innings of the game. Reliever Joe Filomeno got the win for the T-Bones and Cody Winiarski earned a save.
Kansas City, who now leads the series 2-1, could clinch the American Association Southern Division title Saturday evening at 7:05 in Sioux City. You can listen to all of the action with the voice of the T-Bones, Dan Vaughan Jr. at http://mixlr.com/t-bones-baseball/.