WICHITA, Kan. – In the proverbial game that was closer than its final score, Wichita scored five runs in the final two innings and beat Kansas City 7-1 Monday night in the Kansas Turnpike Showdown.
Wichita starter Jon Link could’ve been mistaken for Houdini with the number of times he escaped trouble during his seven solid innings. Link allowed six walks in seven innings. But, with Kansas City’s offense getting only two hits and stranding eight runners, Link held on for this third win of the season.
T-Bones starter Matt Smith (0-3) took the loss despite a solid outing. Through six innings, Smith had allowed just two runs. One costly mistake turned the game around, though, when he gave up a two-run home run to Chris McMurray in the bottom of the seventh that gave the Wingnuts a 4-1 lead. Wichita added three more runs — two unearned after the only error of the game came against T-Bones shortstop Vladimir Frias — against reliever Jared Messer in the eighth.
With Wichita leading 1-0 in the third inning, David Espinosa scored Brian Erie on a groundout. That turned out to be Kansas City’s only run of the game.
The Wingnuts took the lead for good in the fifth inning when Colt Loers drove in McMurray on an RBI single, giving Wichita a 2-1 lead.
The T-Bones (12-13) and Wingnuts (18-8) continue their three-game series Wednesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium at 7:05.