07/04/2004 9:46 AM - July 4, 2004
SIOUX CITY, Iowa Starting pitcher Kevin Sprague picked up his first win of the 2004 campaign on Sunday as the Sioux City Explorers (15-26) downed the Kansas City T-Bones (16-25) at Lewis and Clark Park. The attendance for the day-long event, which also includes a concert by Thornly, Puddle of Mudd, Nickleback and Three Doors Down, was announced at 15,572.
Sprague and T-Bone starter Greg Bicknell were locked in a pitching duel through the games first four innings. The Xs bats came to life in the bottom half of the fifth inning as second baseman Jason Sullivan doubled down the left field line to begin the hit parade. Center fielder Ryan Ruiz followed Sullivan with a single to right, to assist in the games first run. Ruiz went two-for-four in the contest, his 14th multi-hit game of the season.
Todd Brock was then hit by a pitch putting runners at first and second before veteran first baseman Desi Wilson blasted a double down the right field line, plating both runners and giving the Xs a 3-0 advantage. Wilson moved to third on a balk before scoring on catcher Marcel Longmires single to center.
Sprague found himself in some trouble in the top of the sixth as Chad Hill singled to center and Mike Hass walked to open the inning. Sprague then forced Rick Prieto to hit into a 6-4-3 double play before Eddie Pearson grounded out to end the inning, and allow Sprague to leave the game unscathed.
Kansas City led off the seventh inning with back-to-back singles and a walk issued by reliever J.D. Scholten to load the bases with no outs. Explorer manager Jay Kirkpatrick called upon Sean Kramer to come out of the pen to work out of the jam and he did so in quick fashion, as Hiroshi Fujimoto hit into a double-play scoring Ray Brown, for the T-Bones only run.
Sprague went six innings to earn the win allowing no runs on four hits while striking out five batters. Kramer worked three innings of one-hit baseball to pick up his first save of the season. Bicknell went seven innings in the KC loss, allowing four runs on eight hits.
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