Thursday, July 5, 2012

Irvine, offense lead T-Bones to blowout win

Behind a 15-hit and four home run offensive night and a dominant pitching performance from starter Lucas Irvine, Kansas City rolled to a 13-1 victory over the Sioux Falls Pheasants on Thursday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Irvine (1-0), a Liberty, Mo., native making his third start of the season and first at home, was locked in all night.

He went seven innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out nine, which is a team high on the season.

“I have known Luke since his first day in college and have seen a transformation in him,” said T-Bones manager Kenny Hook. “I have a great deal of confidence in him, and this is the kind of outing I think you’re going to see more of from him as he gets comfortable in the starting rotation. His velocity has continued to jump, and he’s getting a better feel for his breaking pitches, so he can be dominant. I love that he attacks the zone with his fastball. When he’s on and hitting his spots, he can be tough.”

The T-Bones jumped on Pheasants starter Mark Michael (5-3) with four runs in the first two innings, including a two-run home run to center field in the second inning by Milner (4) that gave the T-Bones a 4-1 lead. Milner, from nearby Olathe, Kan., went three for five in the game with three RBIs and three runs.

Still holding a 4-1 lead, the T-Bones exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth. A flurry of RBI singles by Jose Duran, Devin Goodwin, Justin Bass and Milner gave the T-Bones four runs.

The big hit of the inning came on a three-run homer from Enrique Cruz over the left field wall. Kansas City sent 10 men to the plate in the inning, collecting seven hits.

After missing the past three games because of an injured wrist, Brandon Jones led off the bottom of the eighth with a towering drive onto the right field berm.

Jones went two for four in his return. Following Jones’ home run, Ray Sadler launched a homer into the T-Bones’ bullpen in deep left-center field.

Kansas City (26-21) looks for the series victory in the final game of a four-game set with Sioux Falls on Friday night at 7:05 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Friday is “Turn Back the Clock” night where former Kansas City Royals All-Star players Fred Patek, Hal McRae, Willie Wilson, John Mayberry, Frank White, Amos Otis and Mickey Cobb (trainer) will be honored and meeting fans. Tickets are available by calling 913-328-5618.