The red-hot Winnipeg Goldeyes were cooled off in a big way Sunday.
The Kansas City T-Bones pounded out 18 hits en route to a 13-2 American Association baseball win over the Fish on a warm, breezy afternoon before 5,129 fans at Shaw Park, snapping a six-game winning streak during which the hosts had outscored their opponents 71-16.
The Goldeyes entered Sunday's play with a 31-23 record and were tied for first place with the St. Paul Saints in the American Association's North Division. The Saints were scheduled to host the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks later in the day.
Goldeyes starter Mikey O'Brien was hit hard in the second inning, surrendering three hits and four runs — the key blow coming on Chantz Mack's three-run homer. The visitors added three more runs in the fifth and got a two-run homer from Kevin Keyes in the sixth.
The Fish finally got to T-Bones starter Chris Perry in their half of the sixth when a single by right-fielder David Rohm and a double by left-fielder Josh Romanski led to Winnipeg's first run, preserving the club's streak of not being shut out in 2017. But the uprising ended quietly and K.C. led 9-1 after six.
"Well, I think we had a slow start and they put some runs on us early and it's tough to get going as an offence when you're on the defence for a while," said Rohm, who had three singles and a run scored in four at-bats to pace the seven-hit Winnipeg attack. "I think there's nothing to worry about. I think the last few games the other teams kinda helped us along the way, giving us a few walks, getting our momentum started."
O'Brien left the game after seven innings, giving up 13 hits, nine runs, four walks and striking out three. His record fell to 6-3. He was relieved by Evan Rutckyk, who was tagged for two hits and one earned run in a on-inning stint. First basemen Shawn Pleffner mopped up in the ninth and was dinged for two runs and three hits.
Kansas City's Perry went seven innings for the win, improving to 2-2. He gave up five hits, one run, one walk and struck out five. The T-Bones improved to 31-23, good for second in the Central Division. K.C. also has a half game lead over Winnipeg in the wild-card standings.
Rohm had been stellar to begin the homestand, going 5-for-13 with two doubles, four runs and five RBI in three wins over Sioux City while going 6-for-15 with three runs and three walks against the T-Bones. Winnipeg's offence, Rohm said, is chugging along as well as it has all season.
"For one thing, it's been a lot of fun being on this side of it. It helps when a couple of guys get going," said Rohm. "They say hitting's contagious and that's really what it's really been for us. (Opposing pitchers are) giving us a few walks and we're capitalizing on the good pitches that we're getting and it's helping us score a lot of runs."
Goldeyes manager Rick Forney said Sunday's result was a mere blip on the schedule.
"We've been playing pretty good lately so it's about as good as we're capable of being," said Forney. "We're swinging the bat pretty well lately."
MARATHON MEN: The Fish and T-Bones hooked up for the longest and perhaps craziest game in American Association history Saturday night, a 12-11 Winnipeg victory in 14 innings. The game took five hours and 25 minutes to play and ended when K.C. righty Matt Sergey threw a wild pitch on an intentional walk attemp to Mason Katz.
Sergey, who was pitching left-handed when the winning run scored, had thrown 105 pitches in Fargo 48 hours earlier and was preserving his right arm for his next start start.
The Goldeyes trailed 5-0 and 7-2 earlier in the game but managed to take a 9-7 lead in the seventh. The T-Bones tied the game 9-9 in the ninth on Tyler Horan's two-out, two-run homer. Kansas City took an 11-9 lead in the 13th but the Goldeyes equalized with the aid of RBI singles by Andrew Sohn and Josh Romanski. Mitchell Lambson earned the win with a four-inning relief stint while Sohn tied franchise record with six hits while also driving in seven runs.
UP NEXT: Winnipeg opens a three-game set with visiting St. Paul's Monday night. Righty Edwin Carl (5.1, 4.22) gets the start for the Fish. The protected starters for Tuesday and Wednesday are leftys Kevin McGovern (7-2, 2.32) and Zack Dodson (4-3, 5.43), respectively. Getting good performances from their starters is the most crucial concern for Forney.
"Playing St. Paul is always a really fun time," said Rohm. "Whenever we get to go there or they come here, there's something really competitive about it."