KANSAS CITY, KS. 8-23-2010 – Willie Glen earned his league-leading 10th win of the year and the Gary SouthShore RailCats hit three home runs to win the opener of a three-game series 7-2 over the Kansas City T-Bones Monday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Glen (10-2) did not allow an earned run in another dazzling start, surrendering just three hits and striking out seven against the Northern League’s best offensive team in the league’s most hitter-friendly park. Even Glen was touched for seven earned runs in a five inning start earlier this year in Kansas City, but Monday’s game belonged to the veteran right-hander from the start as he out-dueled T-Bones southpaw Ryan Knippschild (9-7).
The RailCats got on the board with the first of their three home runs in the fourth inning when Cristian Guerrero walked and Randall Simon singled with one out. After Louis Ott struck out and the runners moved up on a double steal, Jeff Beachum stepped in and drove a three-run home run to left. Beachum’s fifth home run of the year was his first since a month-long stint on the disabled list and was just the beginning of a homer-happy night for the ‘Cats.
Simon went deep himself in the sixth with an opposite field solo home run – his second with the RailCats – and Jay Pecci capped a three-run seventh inning with a no-doubt blast, his sixth of the year. Mike Massaro singled home John Parham one pitch before Pecci’s two-run shot made the score 7-1, with all seven runs charged to Knippschild.
The T-Bones scored an unearned run in the fourth off Glen when Ott made an errant throw to second base as he attempted to force the third out of the inning, but Glen would get the next batter with two on – and the score just 3-1 at the time – and ease his way through seven innings. Glen needed only 98 pitches in the start, walking two and hitting one to go with his seven strikeouts.
Glen is now 9-0 in his last 13 starts going all the way back to June 11, the right-hander’s fifth start of the season. With his seven strikeouts Monday Glen also went over 100 strikeouts for the fourth time in his RailCats career (his league-leading strikeout total sits at 104). There have been only eight 100 strikeout seasons in RailCats history, an even half of which now belong to Glen, who is fifth in Northern League history with 488 RailCats strikeouts.
Kansas City started to mount a rally in the ninth inning, getting a run and loading the bases with one out against Aaron Cook before Jacob Blackwood hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the game.
Simon went 4-for-4 with a double and his home run to lead a 10-hit RailCats attack, just three more hits than the T-Bones. The ‘Cats left only four runners on base in the game and got a two-hit day from Adam Klein, just one day after his 11-game hitting streak was snapped. Dwayne White and Jimmy Mojica each went 2-for-4 for Kansas City.
The RailCats (47-40) pulled within 1.5 games of the second place T-Bones (48-39) with the win and the two teams will meet again Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Left-hander Brad Halsey (6-6, 3.86 ERA) will start for the RailCats opposite T-Bones ace Andrew Cruse (9-5, 2.93 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: The win improves the RailCats to 3-2 this year in Kansas City … in the first four meetings of the season between the two teams in Kansas City, RailCats starters allowed 30 earned runs in 17.2 innings … in his last two starts, Glen has allowed only six hits and no earned runs in 14.0 innings, amassing 14 strikeouts … Pecci’s six home runs are the second highest single-season total of his career, three less than the nine he hit in 2008 for the RailCats … Simon’s four-hit day was the 12th by a RailCat this season and his first.