Canaries Win Nail-Biter in Kansas City on 4th of July
By Aaron Rosenberg
KANSAS CITY, KS - Playing in Kansas City on the 4th of July for the third year in a row, the Canaries started their road trip successfully with a 2-1 over the T-Bones. Kyle Vazquez earned his fourth win by tossing six scoreless innings, Stephen Branca homered and a double play in the 9th inning saved the game.
Kyle Vazquez came out of the gate strong and after holding the T-Bones scoreless in the first two frames, Stephen Branca put the Canaries on board first with his solo homerun off of Daniel Barone. It was Branca's first homer of the season and Friday marked his return to the field after missing four games with a strained oblique. Branca was solid in the field and finished the day with three hits.
Carlos Mendez and Chris Valencia hit back-to-back doubles in the 4th and the Canaries doubled their lead to 2-0. Vazquez continued to make big pitches with runners on base and by the time his six innings were done, he stranded nine T-Bones runners. He finished his day allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out two, but most importantly, not allowing a run. With the win, Vazquez improved to 4-3.
John Brebbia relieved Vazquez in the 7th and quickly recorded two outs, but after a two-out walk, Joe Testa came in and delivered a strikeout to end the inning. Testa would again face the tying run in the 8th, but another inning-ending strikeout left Kansas City off the board.
Alan DeRatt came in to close the 9th, but ran into trouble starting with a one-out walk. Bryan Sabatella followed with a double and the tying run was at second. David Espinosa pushed across a run his infield single and then stole second. With first base open, and the go-ahead run at second, the Canaries elected to intentionally walk Byron Wiley to set up a double play. DeRatt was able to induce it, getting Nick Schwaner to ground out to Mendez who stepped on third base before firing to first to end the game. DeRatt earned his 10th save and the T-Bones left 13 runners on base.
Barone dropped to 5-2 for the T-Bones, going seven innings and allowing two runs. The righthander surrendered eight hits, struck out six and walked two.
The teams will play a doubleheader tomorrow starting at 5:05 PM. Lefty Joe Bircher and Kye Winter are scheduled to start for the Canaries in the seven inning contests. Pregame coverage will start at 4:45 on AM 1230 and FM 98.1 KWSN. Fans can also stream via KWSN.com.