08/06/2004 10:07 AM - KANSAS CITY Eddie Pearson hit three home runs to power the T-Bones offense, but it wasnt enough as Bubba Smiths RBI-single in the ninth inning snapped a 7-all tie and lifted Joliet (12-9, 36-33) to its first win of the series. For Kansas City (13-9, 33-37), which saw its first-place lead trimmed to a half game, the 8-7 defeat ended a franchise-best eight-game winning streak.
Pearson grounded out to second base in his first at-bat, then homered in his next three to ignite the T-Bones offense. It was Pearsons first three-home run game in a T-Bones uniform and just the second three-home run game by any player in the Northern League this season. Pearson hit solo shots in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings to give him 21 home runs and 72 RBIs on the year; his highest totals since 1999 and the highest marks in the NL. Pearson did not get a chance to tie the league record of four homers in a game as he was intentionally walked with none on and two out in the ninth.
Jermaine Allensworth led off the top of the ninth with an infield single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored on Smiths base hit to right field. Greg Runser (1-1) picked up the win in relief for Joliet, while John Howerton (0-3) took the loss for Kansas City.
Joliet scored two runs in the first inning on a wild pitch and an RBI-single from Matt McCay before adding a solo tally in the third on a double by Corey Paul to take an early 3-0 lead. But the T-Bones came back with five in the fourth sparked by Pearsons drive over the wall in right-center field and capped off by a two-run double to left by Chad Hill.
Joliet got a run back in the fifth thanks to a safety squeeze by Paul with runners on first and third, but Pearson led off the home half with a blast over the fence in center field that gave Kansas City a 6-4 lead. The JackHammers took a 7-6 lead with three in the sixth highlighted by a two-run double to left by Dan Firlit and chased T-Bones starter Jon McDonald, who allowed seven runs, four earned, in six innings of work. Pearson knotted the game at 7-all with a one-out, opposite-field home run over the left-field wall.
Game Notes: Rick Prieto wasted little time extending his hitting streak to 17 games by driving the first pitch he saw back up the middle to lead off the first inning. It is the longest hitting streak in the two-year history of the Kansas City franchise and is just one shy of matching the longest such streak by any Northern League player this season. For the night, Prieto was 3-for-5 and is 7-for-14 in his last three games. Prieto crossed the plate in the fourth inning and has scored at least one run in 11 consecutive games Catcher Matt Ceriani threw out Corey Paul attempting to steal third base and then cut down Josh Loggins, who was trying to swipe second base, to record the final two outs of the third inning... McDonald has been victimized by 10 unearned runs in four starts against Joliet this season. He had three wild pitches Friday night after entering the game with just five all season.
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