(Wingnuts) Danny Gutierrez dealt seven innings of scoreless baseball, and a pair of two-run innings proved to be enough support as the Wichita Wingnuts claimed Game One with a 4-2 victory over the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Wednesday night at U.S. Steel Yard.
Gutierrez (1-0) hadn’t worked more than five innings in any of his four regular season starts, but allowed just two Gary hits over seven dominant frames to pick up the win. The veteran righty struck out seven without walking a batter, and retired 15 batters in a row to end his outing.
Matt Chavez got the Wingnuts on the board in the fourth, shooting an RBI single through the right side against RailCats starter Ayrton Costa (0-1). Richard Prigatano then made it 2-0 when he beat out a fielder’s choice grounder to short, scoring TJ Mittelstaedt, who had gone first to third on Chavez’s base hit.
It was Martin Medina who provided the Wingnuts with some vital insurance in the seventh. Batting with runners at the corners and two out, Medina sliced a liner down the right field line that dropped in for a hit and kicked by Gary’s Colin Willis, allowing Brennen Salgado and Christian Stringer to score for a 4-0 Wingnuts lead.
Gary broke up the shutout in the eighth against reliever Mike Devine. Wilfredo Gimenez led off with a single, moved to third on two wild pitches, and came in to score on an RBI groundout from Andy DeJesus to trim the edge to 4-1.
Ryan Kussmaul had to fight through bouts of wildness in the bottom of the ninth, walking the first two hitters and allowing an RBI single to Frank Martinez that made it 4-2. With two on and one out, Kussmaul struck out Kris Goodman and Gimenez to lock down the save and give the Wingnuts a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
The Wingnuts and RailCats continue their series with Game Two on 7:10 Thursday night at U.S. Steel Yard. Alex Boshers (11-4, 3.71) gets the start for Wichita, while Gary SouthShore counters with lefty Jeff McKenzie (4-4, 3.72). All the action will be broadcast on 1410 AM/93.9 FM, and at americanassociationbaseball.tv.
For information on tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Wingnuts main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com.