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T-Bones hold off Blasters; win series

Vladimir Frias makes a diving catch
06/23/2016 9:34 PM -

KANSAS CITY, Kan. —  In spite of a shaky top of the ninth, the Kansas City T-Bones held off the Joplin Blasters, 7-5, on Thursday night in front of a crowd of 9,012 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

With two outs and the T-Bones leading 7-2 in the ninth, T-Bones reliever Mark Haynes walked the bases loaded. Charlie Valerio singled, scoring both Axel Johnson and Mitch Glasser and bringing Joplin to within striking distance at 7-4. Willie Cabrera singled to right field, scoring Geraldo Valentin and putting the go-ahead run at the plate. T-Bones manager John Massarelli then turned to Aaron Baker, who took the loss Wednesday after giving up a home run in the ninth. This time, Baker (2) struck out Cory Morales and secured Kansas City’s win.
The T-Bones jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning after Starlin Rodriguez and Jake Blackwood blasted solo home runs to left field.
In the third, after a single and a stolen base, Tyler Massey scored on a double by Blackwood. Blackwood reached third on a wild pitch and scored on Brandon Tierney’s sacrifice fly that gave Kansas City a 4-0 lead.
The T-Bones added insurance runs in the fourth. Joplin starter Frank Del Valle (0-2) walked Brian Erie before giving up back-to-back singles to Rodriguez and Vladimir Frias. With the bases loaded, Del Valle hit Tyler Massey with a pitch. Kansas City added two more runs when Del Valle threw a wild pitch, allowing Rodriguez to score. But a bad throw on the play to Del Valle, who was covering home, brought in Frias and put the T-Bones ahead, 7-0. 
Jared Messer (1-0) earned his first win of the season giving up five hits and one run in 7 innings.
The T-Bones, who took two of three from Joplin, will welcome the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to CommunityAmerica Ballpark for a four-game series beginning Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the Providence Medical Center Box Office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618.