Control Problems Plague T-Bones in Series-Opening Loss

07/11/2011 10:14 PM -

The Kansas City T-Bones (23-32) walked a team record 13 batters and allowed the game-winning run to score on a wild pitch in the eighth inning as they fell, 10-9, to the Lincoln Saltdogs (26-29) in the first game of a three-game series on Monday night.
Phil Hawke opened the scoring with a solo home run off Matt Mitchell in the bottom of the first inning to give Lincoln an early 1-0 lead. Jim Fasano answered quickly for the T-Bones, connecting for a solo blast of his own off John James to tie the game at one in the second.

Lincoln picked up two runs in the bottom of the frame on a single by Vance Albitz before the T-Bones cut the lead to one on an RBI single from Rico Washington in the third. The Saltdogs failed to score in the bottom of the inning, opening the door for a four-run T-Bones fourth that made the score 6-3. The first run of the inning scored when Johnny Bowden was hit by a pitch after James walked the first three batters of the frame.

James left after hitting Bowden and was charged with five runs, four earned, on four hits in three-plus innings.

Lincoln scored three times in the bottom of the fourth, two on a home run by Gavin Dickey, to chase Mitchell and tie the game at six. Mitchell allowed six runs on six hits while walking five in three and two-thirds innings. Neither starter factored into the decision.

Kansas City scored three times over the next two innings to pull ahead, 9-6. An RBI triple by Keanon Simon in the sixth highlighted the attack. Drew Graham retired the first four batters he faced in relief of Mitchell before hitting Albitz to begin the bottom of the sixth. After a walk put two runners on, Graham induced a flyout before giving way to Martin Dewald. The German-born right-hander later surrendered a bases-loaded walk and an RBI single to former T-Bone Brandon Jones to make the score 9-8.

Steven Stewart (2-3) took over in the seventh for the T-Bones and walked the first two batters he faced. Albitz then attempted to bunt the runners into scoring position, but a throwing error by third baseman Rico Washington allowed the runner to score from second and tie the game at nine.

Jorge Cortes began the bottom of the eighth with a single off Stewart and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Cortes then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jones. After an intentional walk, Andy Shipman entered for Kansas City and allowed Cortes to score on the second wild pitch of the inning to cap the score at 10-9.

Jordan Stern (1-1) threw two scoreless innings of relief for Lincoln to earn the victory. The T-Bones pushed the tying run to third in the ninth inning against closer P.J. Zocchi, but the right-hander struck out Jim Fasano to end the game and secure his 14th save of the season.

The teams face off again on Tuesday night as Kansas City sends left-hander Reid Santos (6-3, 5.00) to face right-hander Tim Brown (5-6, 4.48) and the Saltdogs. First pitch is set for 7:05. To catch all the action while the team is on the road, listen live on KUDL Radio Bach 1660 AM or online at