Tornadoes again falter in 9th.
WORCESTER - Ready to embark on a 10-game road trip that will take them through the plains and heat of Texas, the Tornadoes were hoping to exit Hanover Insurance Park on a positive note.
It didn't work out that way as Grand Prairie rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth to escape with a 4-3 win.
Worcester fell behind by two runs early before storming back to take a 3-2 lead in the seventh.
Tornado starter Ryan Bicondoa (8 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 2 strikeouts) got into trouble in the third inning, but otherwise was holding the offensive-minded AirHogs in check. The 6-foot-3 right-hander came out in the ninth with a one-run lead and working on a three-hitter.
However, Grand Prairie's Greg Porter and Trent Lockwood greeted him with back-to-back doubles to tie the game. Lockwood took third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a hard single past first baseman Alex Nunez to give the AirHogs the lead.
"The easy thing to have done was to make a move (before the ninth) with Ryan," Worcester manager Chip Plante said. "It was just that I had 100 percent confidence in Ryan, especially with the way he was pitching up until the ninth. I thought Ryan pitched great. He's a workhorse. He, along with (pitcher) Zach Zuercher, are our main guys."
Grand Prairie starter Lance Day (6 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 5 strikeouts) contained the Tornadoes through the first six innings until Worcester (14-25) did some damage in the seventh.
Alex Trezza led off with a single, and Nick Salotti followed with a double. Griffin Bailey relieved Day and gave up a two-run double to Brendon Kelliher to tie the game.
Kelliher took third on a sacrifice from Tony Patane, and Cam Monger's single to right delivered Kelliher with the go-ahead run.
The AirHogs (26-13) took an early lead in the third as Yasutsugu Nishimoto grounded a two-run single past Bicondoa up the middle to make it 2-0.
"That is the best team in the American Association, and we know we can play with them and with other teams too," Plante added. "We're very close to getting over that edge. I feel we are right on the brink of getting there. From where we've been to where we are right now is pretty good."
Starting tomorrow night in Laredo, Worcester will take on three teams from the American Association in Texas as part of the co-op agreement with the Can-Am League. From there, the Tornadoes move on to Amarillo before wrapping things up in El Paso.
Canseco still out
Designated hitter Jose Canseco was eligible to come off the seven-day disabled list last Sunday, but the team has not activated him. Canseco will not make the trip to Texas with the team. The next home game for the Tornadoes is July 12.
NAME: WORCESTER TORNADOES
CUTLINE: (1) Worcester starter Ryan Bicondoa throws a pitch during yesterday's game against Grand Prairie. (2) Worcester's Alex Trezza gets tagged out on a rundown between second and third.
PHOTOG: T&G Staff Photos/CHRISTINE PETERSON
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|Publication:||Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)|
|Date:||Jun 28, 2012|
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