By MATT FULKS, tbonesbaseball.com
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Sioux Falls Canaries have been waiting for their offense to get into a groove. Unfortunately for the T-Bones, the Canaries found that groove with four home runs in a 12-5 win over Kansas City on Thursday night.
Kansas City jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a two-run home run by T.J. Mittlestaedt off Sioux Falls starting pitcher Kyle Vasquez (2-1). That was the T-Bones only lead. And it was short-lived.
In the bottom of the second, T-Bones starter Matt Smith (0-1) plunked AJ Kirby-Jones and then delivered back-to-back walks to Chris Valencia and Shelby Ford, which set up a grand slam by Chris Duffy. The Canaries took a 5-2 lead later in the inning on an RBI single by Carlos Mendez.
Smith lasted three innings and allowed seven runs on six hits and three walks. Free passes were once again a major problem to Kansas City's woes. Kansas City pitching allowed four walks and hit two batters, all of which scored.
The Canaries added three more home runs in four at-bats later in the game when Kirby-Jones homered with two outs in the sixth, and then Ford and Duffy led off the Sioux Falls seventh with back-to-back home runs.
The T-Bones out-hit the Canaries 12-11, as every Kansas City batter reached base except Nick Giarraputo. Byron Wiley went 3 for 4 with a walk and an RBI.
The T-Bones look to even the series Friday night with Daniel Barone (1-0) on the mound. Sioux Falls will counter with Joe Bircher (0-1) for the 7:05 first pitch from Sioux Falls Stadium. All of the action can be heard on 1660-AM in Kansas City or worldwide at tbonesbaseball.com.