07/31/2012 3:33 PM -
Fans can enjoy a number of promotions during the final series of Kansas City’s nine-game home stand.
Tuesday, July 31
- AT&T Real Yellow Pages Rally Towel Giveaway for the first 1,000 fans.
- 20oz Tuesdays! 20oz Draft Beers for just $4.
Wednesday, August 1
- Kansas City Zoo Night: First 1,000 kids 12 & under will receive one complimentary ticket to the KC Zoo.
- Reading Program Night by Providence Medical Center. Redeem your vouchers tonight.
- Sizzle Autograph Session.
- Food & Beverage Special: $1 Hot Dogs available with the purchase of any beverage.
- Facebook Winning Wednesdays: Check our Facebook page for the exclusive offer.
- Post-Game Catch on the Field by Coventry Health Care.
Thursday, August 2
- Celebrity appearance by actor Dennis Haskins, better known as Mr. Belding from the TV show “Saved by the Bell,” will be here to throw out a first pitch, sign autographs, lead the crowd in the seventh inning stretch and emcee between-inning contests throughout the night.
- $1 beers all night (12 oz).
Tickets are available for all of these games by calling the T-Bones box office at 913-328-5618.
NEWS AND NOTES
On finishing up this nine-game home stand that so far has included a 2-1 series loss to St. Paul and a series sweep of Grand Prairie:
“We’re in a stretch right here where we face St. Paul, who’s one of the hotter teams in the league, and then we have Grand Prairie, who obviously has one of the best records in the league, and then Winnipeg. These three teams look like teams that will all be there in contention for the playoffs. It was good to see this type of performance out of our club playing against Grand Prairie, who seems to be the South Division leader right now. It’s always nice to perform well against the better teams in the league. Now we just have to continue this momentum into our series with Winnipeg and try to win that series.”
On Brian Grening, who started for Kansas City on Sunday and ranks third in the league with 76 strikeouts:
“I think he made some adjustments from his last start, where he wasn’t able to locate down on the outer half of the plate, so that was good to see the results from some of the work he’s been doing. He’s been probably one of our most consistent pitchers all year. I wasn’t really concerned, but it’s always nice to see a bounce-back start off of what I thought was statistically his worse start. It’s always nice. He’s a huge competitor, and he puts a lot of pressure on himself to perform, so you know that’s a huge lift for us, and it’s nice to get a win that’s not so pressure-packed for a change.”
After drawing a crowd of 4,131 on Sunday night, CommunityAmerica Ballpark has seen more than 200,000 people come through the gates in 2012. The T-Bones’ average attendance is second in the league behind only Winnipeg, this week’s opponent. The total attendance for this season after Sunday’s game is 200,640.
Grening golden against Grand Prairie
Kansas City starter Brian Grening gave up just one run on four hits in seven innings on Sunday against Grand Prairie. He walked three, struck out seven and earned his seventh win of the season. His wins are tied for third-most in the American Association. In 14 games, he has thrown 100 1/3 innings. He is first on the T-Bones and third in the league with 76 strikeouts.
De La Garza homers in first game with T-Bones
After being acquired by Kansas City earlier in the day, second baseman Adam De La Garza suited up and batted ninth for the T-Bones in Sunday’s 9-1 win over the Grand Prairie AirHogs. He went one for four in the game, but his one hit was a two-run home run, one of three two-run homers hit by T-Bones players in that game.
“Mr. Belding” to be at Thursday’s game
On Thursday night, actor Dennis Haskins, who’s best known for his 11-year role as “Mr. Belding” on the popular television show “Saved by the Bell,” will be making a celebrity appearance at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. During Thursday’s game, Haskins will be signing autographs, emceeing between-inning contests and leading the crowd in the seventh inning stretch. Tickets are available by calling the T-Bones box office at 913-328-5639.
Stuck on 200
Ray Sadler, one of the most feared hitters in the Kansas City lineup, has hit a home run dry spell. Sadler hasn’t hit a homer since Wednesday, July 11, at Wichita. That home run to left-center 13 games ago against Andrew Aizenstadt – who was bought last week by the Philadelphia Phillies organization – marked Sadler’s 10th of the season, his 55th as a member of the T-Bones and the 200th of his professional career.
The Goldeyes come to Kansas City with a 39-28 record, trailing the first-place Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks by 4.5 games in the North Division of the American Association. Winnipeg is 5-5 in its last 10 games.
Defensively, the star of the Winnipeg roster is starting pitcher Matt Rusch. Rusch, who is scheduled to start for the Goldeyes on Thursday, has an ERA of 2.28, the second-best in the American Association, behind Kansas City’s Shaun Garceau, whose ERA is 2.19. Rusch is also second in the league in strikeouts with 78, behind only Matt Way of Laredo, who has 80.
Offensively, Winnipeg’s Yurendell de Caster has the seventh-best batting average in the league at .337. He leads the Goldeyes with 49 RBIs. Teammates Chris Roberson and Josh Mazzola lead the team with 10 home runs each. Five Winnipeg players currently have a batting average above .300.
This week’s series marks the first and only time the T-Bones and the Goldeyes face off in the regular season in 2012.
Kansas City eyes playoffs
With the last month of the season here, the T-Bones are two games behind Wichita in the Central Division, as the Wingnuts and T-Bones are both 6-4 in their last 10 games.
If the T-Bones can’t overtake Wichita, a club the T-Bones won’t face again during the regular season, they still have a shot at getting to the playoffs with the Wild Card berth.
In the Wild Card race, Kansas City is in second place, three games behind Winnipeg and tied with St. Paul.
Kansas City Playoff History
Kansas City finished the regular season with a 48-48 record. Schaumburg eliminated the T-Bones in the first round, taking the best-of-five series 3-2. Eddie Pearson paced the T-Bones on the season, capturing the league’s MVP award.
The T-Bones celebrated a Northern League championship after defeating Gary SouthShore three games to one in the championship series. Kansas City (46-50) pulled the upset of the playoffs in the semifinals, when it swept one-seed Fargo-Moorhead after sneaking in the playoffs with a 46-50 record and being the last team to make the playoffs.
Gary SouthShore bounced the defending league champ Kansas City in the first round. The T-Bones qualified as the four seed, posting an identical regular season record as the previous year, 46-50.
Despite leading the Northern League throughout the 2010 season, a late-season fade found the T-Bones as the second seed in the playoffs. After Kansas City dispatched the Joliet Jackhammers in the semifinals, Fargo-Moorhead swept the T-Bones in the championship series.
Last nights' game
Behind three two-run home runs and a solid pitching performance by starter Brian Grening, the T-Bones completed a three-game sweep of the Grand Prairie AirHogs, 9-1, Sunday evening at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
A two-run home run by Brandon Jones in the first inning to right field gave the T-Bones a quick 2-0 lead. The T-Bones added a run after Devin Goodwin drew a bases-loaded walk.
By the end of the day, the T-Bones pounded 13 hits and got two-run homers, also, by Adam De La Garza – making his T-Bones debut – in the sixth and Goodwin in the seventh. Jones and Lee Cruz each went three for five for Kansas City.
“I thought it was a combination of their guy struggling command wise and our guys came out hot,” said manager Kenny Hook. “When you’re in a hitter’s count you kind of know that the fastball is coming. We put some good swings on it and it was nice to get out to an early lead.”
AirHogs centerfielder Keanon Simon, a former T-Bones player, continued his hot hitting as he launched a solo home run to right field in the top of the third that cut the AirHogs deficit to 3-1.
Kansas City starter Brian Grening went seven solid innings, striking out seven and giving up only four hits. Prior to a single in the top of the sixth, Grening had retired nine straight AirHogs.
Up Next for the T-Bones
After the current nine-game home stand concludes on Thursday, Kansas City heads northeast to start an eight-game road stretch against teams of the Canadian-American League. The T-Bones took on the Newark Bears and the New Jersey Jackals earlier this season at home, but this is the first time Kansas City has played any Can-Am teams on the road. The T-Bones will play Rockland, Newark and Worcester during the trip.
The T-Bones’ first stop will be Rockland, NY. The Boulders are currently 37-31 and are third in the league, seven games out of first place. Rockland has won its last two games and is 6-4 in its last 10.