07/16/2003 11:20 AM - Rodney Cliftons two out, two-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning proved to be the difference in Kansas Citys 8-6 triumph over the Lincoln Saltdogs Wednesday night. Clifton and Chris LePine each had three RBIs in a win that gives the T-Bones a two game cushion in the Western Division.
The Saltdogs got on the board first in the second inning. After Darren Doskocil was hit by a pitch, Josh Patton hit his first triple of the season over Rick Prietos head in center. Patton would later score on a sacrifice fly by Paul Powell to make the score 2-0.
Cliftons third home run, and first as a T-Bone, in the bottom of the second sailed directly over the 396 sign in center field to cut the deficit in half. Chris LePine gave Kansas City the lead at 4-3 in the fourth when his double to left cleared the bases for three runs.
The T-Bones added two more runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to gain an 8-4 lead. Jack Jones hit his third homer of the season into the left field bullpen in the fifth. Cliftons single in the sixth gave the T-Bones enough breathing room to earn their fourth victory of the second half of the season.
D.J. Johnson appeared for the second night in a row and dodged a bullet in the ninth inning when Darren Doskocil hit a line drive that hooked just foul in right field. If that hit would have been fair, it would have tied the game at eight. Instead, Johnson earned his ninth save of the season when he got Doskocil to strike out swinging to end the game.
Tony Gomes (2-2) picked up his second win of the season, and his first as a starter. He pitched into the seventh inning while allowing five runs on six hits. Darren Truty (2-1) took his first loss of the season after he came on in relief of starter Steve Sawyer.
These same two teams will face off again tomorrow night. Erik Grunwald goes for the T-Bones and will be matched by Doug Johnston for the Saltdogs. The game will start at 7:05 p.m.