Johnson, Defense Shut Down AirHogs
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Kansas City T-Bones lefty Kris Johnson shut down the Grand Prairie AirHogs offense and out-dueled Josh Rainwater on Monday night, getting some timely hitting and some great defense to beat the AirHogs 4-1 in the opener of their four-game series at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Rainwater (12-5) had only one blip on his radar, when he allowed three straight two-out hits to Kala Ka'aihue, Jimmy Mojica and Johnny Bowden in the bottom of the second which gave Kansas City (39-41) a 2-0 lead. After that, Rainwater got around a two-runner jam in the third and a two-out single in the fourth, and then retired the T-Bones in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh.
But in the eighth, Keanon Simon led off with a double down the first-base line, and Aharon Eggleston singled, and then went to second when centerfielder Danny Figueroa missed the cutoff man. Matt Sartor then came in and allowed a two-run single to Rico Washington to make it 4-1, before giving up another hit and then getting out of the subsequent jam with three strikeouts.
Johnson (4-2) allowed a leadoff walk in the second (erased on a lineout double play), a two-out double in the third and a leadoff double in the fourth before the AirHogs (50-30) found a way to get on the board. The run came on Jake Taylor's fifth-inning sacrifice fly, but the T-Bones' lefty stranded another leadoff walk in the sixth, and got help from his defense to get out of the eighth.
With two outs, David Espinosa was hit by a pitch in the left leg, before Cesar Nicolas's single to right-center gave the AirHogs runners at the corners. Johnson left in favor of righty Andy Shipman, and John Alonso almost gave the AirHogs the lead with a soft liner to the right side, but second baseman Jeff Hulett snow-coned the ball at the top of his leap and held on to it on the dive to the ground to rob Alonso of a two-run single.
Grand Prairie got two more runners on in the ninth, but Taylor grounded out and Figueroa struck out as Kyle Dahman held on to get his fifth save of the year.
Notes: The AirHogs left nine men on base for the third straight game...No AirHogs player had more than one hit, as they were out-hit 9-6...The AirHogs ended a 13-game streak of making at least one error...Kansas City also did not commit an error, the AirHogs' first combined errorless game since July 24 (also the last time they did not make an error)...Seven of the nine T-Bones had at least one hit.
The AirHogs continue their four-game series with the T-Bones at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9. The next AirHogs home game at QuikTrip Park is Friday, August 12, for Faith and Family Night presented by KLTY Radio, featuring a postgame concert and testimonies of praise from former and current athletes. The game begins at 6:05 p.m. All games are available with live, free streaming video on ustream.tv. Individual game tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 972-504-9383 or by visiting www.airhogsbaseball.com
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