08/28/2010 8:42 PM -
Gabriel Martinez blasted two home runs for the second straight night as the Kansas City T-Bones (53-38) clinched their third consecutive playoff berth with a 14-4 victory over the Rockford RiverHawks (44-48) Saturday night. It is the fifth straight win for Kansas City.
Kansas City scored twice in the first inning against Kyle Ruwe (6-8) on two hits and one RiverHawks error. Victor Buttler then pulled Rockford within one with a leadoff home run against Ryan Knippschild (10-7) in the bottom of the frame.
Gabriel Martinez pushed the score to 3-1 in the top of the third with a solo shot, his first of the game. An RBI single from Jason James cut the T-Bones advantage back to one in the bottom of the inning, 3-2.
That’s as close as Rockford would get in the contest as a three-run fifth gave the T-Bones a 6-3 lead and chased Ruwe from the contest. A two-run home run by Martinez, his second of the contest, plated the first two before Ray Sadler immediately followed with a solo shot of his own. Ruwe left after a two-out walk later in the inning, taking the loss after allowing six runs, five earned, on eight hits over four and two-thirds innings.
Martinez finished the game three-for-six with three RBI. He is now nine-for-21 (.429) with two doubles, five home runs and 11 RBI in his first five games with Kansas City.
Knippschild surrendered his final run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Rich Austin before retiring his final five batters, three with strikeouts. The left-hander became the third T-Bones pitcher to reach double-digit wins after allowing three runs on six hits over six innings. It is the first time in franchise history the team has had three pitchers reach double figures in wins.
Todd Moser threw a scoreless seventh for Kansas City. Grant Ledbetter surrendered a solo home run to Jake Eigsti in the eighth and Casey Hodges added a perfect ninth to close out the game.
Kansas City extended their lead to 10-3 in the seventh with four runs on five hits. Jim Fasano added three runs with a home run in the eighth and Jacob Blackwood closed out the scoring at 14-4 with an RBI double in the ninth. Five T-Bones drove in multiple runs and six Kansas City players collected multiple hits in the contest.
The T-Bones have now made the playoffs in three straight seasons for the first time in franchise history. It is their sixth playoff appearance overall, and fourth since moving to Kansas City in 2003. A sale date for playoff tickets has not been announced at this time. Stay tuned to www.tbonesbaseball.com or call the T-Bones box office at 913-328-5618 for more information as it becomes available.
Kansas City looks to finish off a four-game sweep Sunday night as they send Andrew Cruse (10-5, 2.93) to the mound opposite Raymar Diaz (1-0, 4.20) and the RiverHawks. First pitch is set for 4:05. Catch all the action online at www.tbonesbaseball.com or on the radio at KXTR 1660 AM.