The Cleburne bullpen has been solid all season long but the Kansas City T-Bones scored three runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth to rally for a 9-7 win over the Railroaders on Tuesday night.
It was Cleburne’s third consecutive loss as the Railroaders saw their lead for first place in the South Division drop to just one game over Sioux City (entering play Wednesday). It was only the third time all season Cleburne has suffered three straight losses (June 14-17 vs. Sioux City; July 31-Aug. 2 vs. Texas).
By taking the first two games of their series, Kansas City has pulled to within four games of the Railroaders. Only a week ago, it appeared Cleburne and Sioux City would run away with the two playoff berths out of the South Division, but the T-Bones have battled back to make it a three-team race for two playoff spots.
The Railroaders (47-34) held a 4-2 lead in the seventh, but back-to-back doubles from Tyler Marincov and Ramsey Romano put the T-Bones in front 5-4.
Kansas City (42-37) then tacked on four more in the eighth on a two-run home run from Casey Gillaspie and RBI singles from Marincov and Dylan Tice. Cleburne made things interesting in the top of the ninth, scoring three runs on a John Nester sacrifice fly and a Zach Nehrir two-run double to bring the tying run to the plate. But Kansas City closer Carlos Diaz retired the next two hitters to secure his ninth save.
D.J. Sharabi (0-2) took the loss for Cleburne, allowing three runs on three hits and a hit by pitch in the seventh. Christian Binford (4-2) picked up the win for Kansas City, working 7.2 innings on just 90 pitches.
The Railroaders fell into an early 2-0 hole on a Christian Colabello first inning homer, but scored two runs apiece in the third and fourth to grab a 4-2 lead. K.C. Huth got the Railroaders on the board with a run-scoring single, and Chase Simpson tacked on a sacrifice fly. RBI groundouts from Logan Trowbridge and Nick Rotola produced the runs in the fourth.
Eudis Idrogo pitched well over five innings for Cleburne, but ultimately settled for a no-decision. The southpaw allowed three hits and two runs and exited with the lead.
The Railroaders and T-Bones are set to conclude their series on Wednesday night.
Cleburne returns to The Depot for a three-game series against Sioux City, which begins at 7:06 p.m. Thursday.
The Railroaders took two of three from the Explorers last week with first place on the line, and it will be another pivotal three-game series between the two teams with the top spot in the South — and possibly a playoff berth — up for grabs.
After this series with Sioux City, Cleburne will only have three home games remaining. Six of Cleburne’s final 18 games this season will come against Sioux City.
For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders office at 817-945-8705, or visit the website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.