KANSAS CITY -- One big inning was answered by a bigger one.

A four-run third inning gave Kansas City an early 5-1 lead, but a six-run sixth inning by the Sioux City Explorers led to a 14-5 win here Monday.

The victory wrapped up the South Division title for the Explorers, who sit at 67-26 on the season. The X's wrapped up the division on their third try after previously clinching a playoff spot.

Keith Curcio started off the fourth for the T-Bones with a single followed by an out. Mason Davis singled to right field and an error allowed Curcio to score. After the second out was recorded, Colin Walsh singled to score Davis and former Explorer Noah Perio Jr. did the rest with a two-run home run.

Daniel Jackson would close the gap to 5-3 in the fifth inning with a two-run home run of his own. It was his second home run of the season, both coming against the T-Bones.

The inning ended when Michael Lang was picked off first base, the second time for the Explorers in the game. X's manager Steve Montgomery came out to argue the call and was ejected from the game. It came one day after Kansas City's manager was ejected before the game even started.

The Explorers reeled the T-Bones all the way back in when Jose Sermo smacked another two-run shot in the sixth to tie the game at 5-all.

The X's were not done.

Dean Green singled and moved to third on Blake Schmit's base it. He would give the Explorers the lead on Dylan Kelly's single. Luis Durango singled in a run and Nate Samson did the rest of the damage with a single to plate two more runs.

Samson was 4-for-6 at the plate after that hit making the third time this season he had a four-hit effort.

The Explorers added five more runs in the fifth highlighted by a third home run of the game. This time it was Lang as he hit a three-run shot to blow the game open.

Every batter scored at least one run for the Explorers as they pounded out 15 hits in the game.

Justin Vernia was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion as he got the win despite giving up five runs on 10 hits in six innings of work. Vernia is now 12-1 on the season, the most wins in the American Association. 

The Explorers scored in the first inning as Durango began the game drawing a walk and he moved to third on a Samson single. He would score on Sermo's single to right.

The T-Bones tied the game in the bottom of the frame with back-to-back singles to start before a run came home on a fielder's choice.

The two teams will complete the three-game series Tuesday with an 11:05 a.m. start time.


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