07/21/2012 8:26 AM
By Brian Bruce
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Shaun Garceau shut out the Grand Prairie AirHogs for seven innings and Kansas City took the series-opener, 4-1, at QuikTrip Park on Friday night.
Former T-Bones outfielder Keanon Simon led off the first inning with a bloop single to left, which turned out to be the only hit Grand Prairie had against Garceau (6-1) until the fifth inning. Throwing in the low 90s with command of his fastball, the right hander from Royal Palm Beach, Fla., retired eight straight AirHogs between the second and fourth innings. His final line included only two hits, four walks, and five strikeouts.
While Garceau was dominating, Kansas City was stringing hits together. The T-Bones jumped on the board first on a two-out single to right by Justin Bass in the second, scoring Hunter Mense who had also singled with two outs.
KC tacked on another run in the third on a single by Ray Sadler that followed a leadoff walk to Brandon Jones and a single by Lee Cruz. That set the stage for the fifth inning, when the T-Bones began the inning against Grand Prairie starter John Brownell (7-3) with four consecutive hits, including a leadoff double by Gus Milner, an RBI single by Jones, a single by Cruz, and an RBI single by Sadler, making it 4-0.
After the AirHogs scored one run in the bottom of the eighth against left-hander Brad Furnish, closer Mike Mehlich worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth and notched his seventh save for the T-Bones (33-27).
With Wichita and Winnipeg losing on Friday night, the T-Bones are now 1 ½ games behind Wichita in the Central Division, and 2 ½ behind Winnipeg in the Wild Card. Game two of the four-game series is set for a 7:05 start on Saturday night. The game can be heard on the KMBZ Business Channel (1660 AM) or online at www.tbonesbaseball.com.