08/07/2003 9:31 AM - It appeared as though it would be a pitchers duel Thursday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, but it turned out to be anything but that as the Kansas City T-Bones scored all eight of their runs in the sixth through eighth innings to defeat the Gary RailCats 8-4.
Starters Erik Grunwald and Billy Coleman dominated the game in the early innings, bucking the trend for the series. In the other two games the scoring began in the early innings for each team.
Grunwald gave up the first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning. Ray Browns error allowed Wes Chamberlain to reach base. He would score on a double by Sean Murphy to put Gary up 1-0. Gary extended their lead with the first pitch of the top of the fifth inning as Luis Urueta sent his first home run of the season to the top of the hill in right field.
Kansas City would not get on the board until two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Rick Prieto hit a Coleman pitch into left center for a double. Eddie Pearson then hit a 0-1 pitch into the grass in right center for his tenth homer of the season that tied the game at 2-2.
With the score 3-2 in the top of the eighth in favor of the T-Bones, the scoring started to come in bunches. Erik Grunwald was chased from the game when he walked Wes Chamberlain to put runners on first and second with one out. Closer D.J. Johnson came in the game and gave up a two out, two run single to Tim Flaherty that gave Gary a lead of 4-3. That came after Chris LePine temporarily preserved the lead for the T-Bones when he made a diving catch in right field off of the bat of Rene Pinto. That prevented both Chamberlain and Edwards from scoring.
For the second straight night, the T-Bones managed to come back after giving up a lead. Rick Prieto hit his league leading seventh triple of the season with one out to put they tying run on third. Rodney Clifton then fouled off a number of pitches from reliever Jim Harrison (4-4) before lofting a sacrifice fly into left that scored Prieto.
The T-Bones then loaded the bases with two walks to bring pinch hitter Chad Shindle up to the plate. Harrison hit Shindle with the first pitch to force home the eventual winning run. Bao Vinh and Chris LePine would both single home insurance runs to give the T-Bones the 8-4 lead.
Johnson (6-2) pitched a perfect ninth inning to cap this back-and-forth contest. Thanks to the win tonight, the T-Bones win the season series versus the RailCats by a count of five games to four. They look to carry their momentum into their next series against division rival Sioux City. That series will commence tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m.