KANSAS CITY, KS. 8-24-2010 – The Gary SouthShore RailCats scored four times in the seventh and eighth innings to erase a four-run deficit, but Gabriel Martinez launched a solo home run to lead off the eighth to lead the Kansas City T-Bones a 6-4 win Tuesday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Playing in his first Northern League game after being signed by the T-Bones earlier Tuesday, Martinez stepped to the plate to lead off the eighth 0-for-2 but launched a Jeff Williams (1-3) offering deep to right-center to put Kansas City in front for good. The T-Bones would get another run later in the inning and held on despite the RailCats putting the first two runners on in the ninth against Kansas City closer Drew Shetrone.
In a second straight well-pitched ballgame, the T-Bones broke onto the scoreboard in the fourth against RailCats starter Brad Halsey. Martinez walked with one out to start the rally before Ray Sadler singled and both runners moved up on a passed ball. Jim Fasano singled in one run before the next batter, Brian Joynt, doubled to left to score a pair. Keith Hernandez delivered a two-out hit later in the inning to build the lead to 4-0.
Halsey would allow nothing else in the rest of the game, however, going 7.0 innings and allowing only the four runs on nine hits. Halsey’s defense helped him out by turning a trio of double plays as the former Major League went at least seven innings for the fourth consecutive start.
Kansas City ace Andrew Cruse (10-5) was one step ahead of Halsey most of the way before the RailCats started to climb back in the seventh. Randall Simon singled to lead off the inning and two batters later Mike Rohde launched a two-run home run just over the wall in right to cut the lead in half. Rohde’s home run was his third of the season and the eighth of his career.
Cruse was left out through the eighth inning and that’s when the RailCats came all the way back to tie the score. Adam Klein and Mike Massaro notched back-to-back singles to start the inning before Jay Pecci bunted both men to scoring position. Cristian Guerrero came up next and grounded a base hit to left that scored both runners for his team-leading 54th and 55th RBI of the season.
Cruse earned his league-leading 10th win of the year the hard way, throwing 127 pitches and allowing four earned runs on 10 hits. The right-hander struck out six and joined teammate Cody McAllister and Monday night’s winner, Willie Glen of the RailCats, with 10 wins this season.
Massaro had the big offensive day for the RailCats, going 4-for-4 with a quartet of singles to bump his season-average to a team-leading .312. No other RailCat had more than one hit as the T-Bones out-hit the ‘Cats 12-10. Sadler went 3-for-4 to lead Kansas City.
The RailCats (47-41) and T-Bones (49-38) wrap up their season series Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. In a battle of left-handers, Andy Weeks (1-1, 5.04 ERA) will start for the RailCats opposite Kansas City’s Reid Santos (4-5, 5.24 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: The RailCats have recorded at least 10 hits in all six of their games in Kansas City this year … the loss dropped the RailCats 2.5 games behind second place Kansas City and just one game ahead of fourth place Joliet, which won for the fourth straight game earlier Tuesday … the RailCats have hit four home runs in the first two games of the series … Massaro now has 105 hits this season, three behind Klein for the team lead. Both are on pace to break Pecci’s team single-season hits record (115, 2008).