06/24/2004 3:08 PM - June 24, 2004
KANSAS CITY For the second straight night, the T-Bones rode the momentum of a big first inning en route to a 7-3 win over Sioux Falls Thursday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Eddie Pearson drove in a pair of runs and starting pitcher Greg Bicknell improved to 2-0 on the year in the four-run victory.
Unlike Wednesday night, however, Kansas City (13-20) had to play comeback early as the Canaries (10-22) touched Bicknell for three runs in the first inning highlighted by a two-run double by Marc Mirizzi. But Bicknell settled down soon after and shut out Sioux Falls until he was relieved for in the eighth inning.
The same could not be said for Canaries starter Josh Merrigan (1-2) who gave up four runs in the first, and lasted just four innings. Chad Hill and Rick Prieto started the rally for Kansas City in the first with back-to-back doubles that reduced the deficit to 3-1. After a single by Pearson, first baseman Ray Brown pulled a ball through the right side that scored Prieto and moved Pearson to second. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch and Chad Shindle tied the game with a ground ball to the shortstop. Left fielder Cody Nowlin, who finished with three hits, gave the T-Bones a 4-3 advantage by roping a Merrigan offering into left field.
Kansas City increased its lead to 5-3 in the following inning when Prieto drove in Phil Thompson with a sacrifice fly to left. Thompson, who is expected to start Saturdays game on the mound for the T-Bones, reached on a single, stole second base and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Hill. Pearson, who entered play second in the league with a .371 batting average, drove in Kansas Citys final two runs of the contest with singles in the fourth and sixth innings, respectively.
Relievers John Howerton and Erick Grunwald closed out the game for the T-Bones. The T-Bones and Canaries will go at it again Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Jon McDonald (3-2, 3.30) is expected to get the nod for KC.
Game Notes: Thursday nights victory was Kansas Citys first against a left-handed starter at home this season. The team is 3-7 against southpaws overall... Prieto, who leads the NL in runs scored with 37 runs in 32 games, crossed the plate for the seventh consecutive game for KC. He is currently on pace to score 99 runs on the season, which would shatter the record of 88, set by Anthony Lewis in 2000 It was a big night for Thompson, who matched season highs for hits (2), runs (2), and stole his first two bases of the season. The right fielder also recorded an outfield assist in the third inning by gunning down Glenn Davis, who was trying to stretch a single into a double.
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