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T-Bones starter maintains mastery of Wingnuts

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, June 11, 2014, at 10:44 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, June 12, 2014, at 6:34 a.m.


Kansas City at Wingnuts

When: 7:05 p.m. Thursday

Where: Lawrence-Dumont Stadium

Records: Kansas City 13-13, Wingnuts 18-9

Pitchers: KC, RH Andy Noga (0-1, 3.97 ERA); Wingnuts, RH Tim Brown (4-1, 2.73)

Radio: KWME, 92.7-FM

Daniel Barone’s ownership of the Wingnuts this season apparently doesn’t end when the Kansas City right-hander leaves the game.

Barone was finished after seven innings in a tie game Wednesday, but the T-Bones scored two runs against Wichita’s bullpen in the eighth. That netted Kansas City a 4-2 win at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and gave Barone his second win over the Wingnuts in a week.

Barone, a former major leaguer returning to professional baseball after three seasons away, also pitched well in a no-decision against Wichita last month.

The Wingnuts tied it 2-2 with a pair of runs in the seventh against Barone, but he earned the victory after a troublesome inning defensively and on the mound by Wichita.

“Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get to Barone, their starter, again tonight,” Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper said. “He’s done really well against us, for whatever reason. He’s around the (plate), too, we just haven’t made a ton of adjustments off him this season.”

Barone threw 64 pitches over the first six innings, retiring the Wingnuts on 11 or fewer five times as the T-Bones built a 2-0 lead. He lost command in the seventh, hitting Jake Kahaulelio to start the inning, then walking Brent Clevlen.

It can be risky to offer a laboring pitcher a free out by way of sacrifice bunt, but that’s what Hooper opted to do, getting two runners into scoring position to further pressure Barone.

The strategy worked, as Wichita tied it on a Chris McMurray groundout and a sharp single by J.T. Wise. Considering the Wingnuts’ recent penchant for scoring in late innings and against the opposing bullpen, a tie felt like at least a small victory.

“I felt real comfortable,” Hooper said. “Once you tie it up, that’s what you call a shutdown inning – you go out and (defensively) get a shutdown inning.”

That plan of Hooper’s, one over which he had less control, was not to be. Matt Robertson started the eighth, pitching in a clutch situation after spending much of the season in lower-leverage outings. Robertson last pitched on June 2.

“He’s got to be ready for it,” Hooper said. “Whether he was or not, he’s got to be. Every single guy I give the ball to down there, you’ve got to be ready no matter what the opportunity is. Whether you haven’t pitched or five, six days, or whether you’ve pitched two days in a row and this is your third day in a row.”

Robertson didn’t record an out, but his outing was a bounce away from finishing much more smoothly. After Robertson allowed a leadoff single, Danny Richar hit a hard groundball directly to shortstop Ryan Khoury, who was moving to his left to cover second base on a hit-and-run play.

Khoury, the Wingnuts’ most steady and spectacular defender, got caught up in his multiple tasks – covering the base, fielding the ball and potentially starting a double play – and let the ball skip past him for a hit. Robertson’s outing was over, and reliever Alex Hinshaw allowed both inherited runners to score.

“It kind of jammed him a little bit,” Khoury said. “A little bit of weird spin off the turf. I tried to get in front of it, but I’ve got to at least knock that down right there.”

The run that scored on Richar’s single was enough to give Barone the win even though he didn’t throw another pitch.

“He was just throwing strikes,” Khoury said. “He’s got quite a few pitches and he throws strikes, I think he had like four walks on the year. He’s around the zone and he pitched well. We hit some balls hard that didn’t fall. You’ve got to give it up to him a little bit.”

Kansas CityWichita
Sabatella rf5110Khoury ss4010
Espinosa lf5221Testa lf4000
Richar 2b4021Kahaullo 2b3110
Schwaner 1b3010Clevlen cf3110
Giarrpto dh4011McClendn 3b3000
Frias ss4000McMurray c4001
Mittelstdt 3b4120Wise dh4031
Erie c3011Loehrs 1b2000
Kuzdale cf4010Amberson rf2000

Kansas City1100000204 11 0
Wichita0000002002 6 1

E – McLendon (1). DP – Kansas City 2, Wichita 1. LOB — Kansas City 7, Wichita 5. 2B – Schwaner (3), Erie (3), Kuzdale (4), Wise (8). HR – Espinosa (1). S – McClendon, Loehrs. CS – Mittelstaedt (3).

Barone W, 4-0752213
Regas S (6)1 1/310000

Wichita IP H R ER BB SO
Robertson L, 0-2022200
Bennett1 1/300000

HBP – Schwanter by Hinshaw; Kahaulelio by Barone. Umpires—Home, Tim Kramer; 1B, Joe Stegner; 3B, Bobby Feaster.

T — 2:33. A – 2,541.

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