KANSAS CITY -- Just when it looked like Sioux City was about to sew up the American Association South Division title, Kansas City had other ideas.
Ryan Brett and Mason Davis both connected on two-RBI hits to help the T-Bones secure a 7-5 victory here Sunday. The win keeps the X's magic number at one to clinch the division with eight games left in the regular season.
Sioux City (66-26) clinched a playoff spot over the weekend, but Kansas City (58-33) needs to win their remaining games and have the X's lose out to claim the division. The two teams play the second game of the series Monday at 7:05 p.m.
Jay Baum looked like he may have given the X's the offense it needed to win when he smacked a two-run home run -- his seventh of the season -- to erase a one-run deficit in the top of the eighth inning as the X's built a 5-3 lead.
The four-run bottom of the eighth flipped the two-run deficit in the T-Bones' favor.
The Explorers finally broke a 17-inning scoreless streak in the seventh inning by not swinging the bat. Both Dexture McCall and Daniel Jackson worked walks off T-Bones reliever Marcus Crescentini after falling behind 0-2 in the count. Crescentini then walked the bases load when he handed Luis Durango a free pass.
Kevin Hill would replace Crescentini on the mound and Michael Lang made him pay when he laced a double to score McCall and Jackson. Nate Samson would hit a fly to right field that was caught and Durango was cut down at home to complete the double play. Jose Sermo struck out to end the threat with Lang still on second.
Baum made the T-Bones pay in the eighth as Dean Green began with a walk before Baum smacked the homer. The X's added an insurance run in the inning when Blake Schmit doubled and scored on Jackson's single to right.
The T-Bones would load the bases with a pair of singles and an intentional walk in the bottom of the seventh, but former Explorer Noah Perio Jr. flew out to end the threat.
Kansas City grabbed the lead in the third inning when Keith Curcio smacked a two-run home run. The long ball allowed the T-Bones to build their lead as Colin Walsh hit a lead-off homer in the bottom of the sixth to make it 3-0.
The Explorers had a chance to get a run in the third as Samson ripped a two-out double. He looked ready to score on a hard hit ball by Sermo but Alay Lago made a nice play to record the ground out.
A hit batter and an error gave the X's two baserunners with two outs in the sixth before a wild pitch put the tying run on second base. Crescentini got Schmit to swing at strike three.
Sioux City had 10 hits but also struck out 12 times.
Kansas City manager was ejected from the game as pitcher was throwing his warm-up pitches.