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Ka’aihue Strikes Again with Game-Winning Knock

08/14/2011 8:16 PM -

Kala Ka’aihue connected for his third game-winning hit of the season to snap a five-game losing streak for the Kansas City T-Bones (40-46) as they defeated the Lincoln Saltdogs (44-41), 8-7, in front of 5,504 fans on Sunday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
 
Despite erasing an early six-run deficit, Kansas City trailed the Saltdogs 7-6 as the game entered the bottom of the ninth. Lincoln reliever Santo Luis (1-1) walked the first batter he faced to begin the frame before Rico Washington reached on a catcher’s interference. After a groundout moved the runners to second and third, Luis intentionally walked Jim Fasano to load the bases for Ka’aihue. After working the count full, Ka’aihue lined a single to left to bring the tying and winning runs home.

It was the third walk-off hit by Ka’aihue this season. He finished the game two-for-five with three RBI.

Lincoln jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning, scoring five runs against Matt Mitchell on two hits and two errors. The Saltdogs added another tally in the third to push their advantage to six.

Kansas City began to rally against John James in the fourth with a three-run inning, plating two on a home run by Washington. James left with one out in the fifth after a two-run single by Fasano pulled the T-Bones within one, 6-5.

Mitchell was charged with six runs, three earned, on four hits over three innings. James allowed five runs on five hits through four and one-thirds frames. Neither starter factored into the decision.

A solo home run by Jeff Hulett tied the game at six in the Kansas City half of the sixth. T.J. Large took over for Mitchell in the fourth and threw four scoreless innings before surrendering a double to Gavin Dickey with one out in the eighth. Ben Baker entered for his first professional appearance and immediately surrendered an RBI single to Phil Hawke to give Lincoln a 7-6 lead.

Baker gave way to Steven Stewart (4-4) after surrendering a free pass to open the ninth. Stewart retired both batters he faced while using a caught stealing to complete the inning. The right-hander took the win for the T-Bones while Luis was saddled with the loss for Lincoln.

Kansas City has a day off on Monday before opening a three-game series against the Wichita Wingnuts in Wichita, KS on Tuesday. First pitch of game one is set for 7:05. The T-Bones return home for their final regular-season homestand of the 2011 season on August 23. To secure your seats for the four-game series against the Sioux Falls Pheasants from August 23-26, call 913-328-5618. To follow the T-Bones on their upcoming road trip, listen live on KUDL Radio Bach 1660 AM or online at www.tbonesbaseball.com.