Omaha gets 4 in 9th, beats Red Wings


ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- There is a book on Russ Morman. Before the Triple-A Classic is over, it will become required reading for the Rochester Red Wings pitchers.

The Omaha first baseman sparked a ninth-inning rally last night with his fourth run batted in as the Royals rallied to defeat the Red Wings, 7-4, to even the Classic at a game apiece.

"We haven't made our pitches against him," Red Wings manager Greg Biagini said. "We've left pitches up over the plate. We haven't put them where we wanted to. He's a veteran player. You can't afford to make mistakes."

Morman collected three singles and his fourth homer in three games, and fifth of the post-season, as the Royals collected 16 hits against three pitchers.

The Royals allowed eight hits. Reliever Luis Encarnacion won his third playoff game. Jay Baller recorded his second save.

The Royals got five hits in the ninth inning -- the big one was Tommy Hinzo's two-run triple for a 6-4 lead -- off relievers Mike Smith (1-1) and Rob Woodward. The hits began with Paul Zuvella's single after Jacob Brumfield drew a one-out walk.

Morman, who had driven in the Royals' three earlier runs on a single and two-run homer, had singled off Smith to tie the game.

The right-handed-hitting Morman had gone 5-for-14 with two RBI in the five-game regular-season series between the teams. He batted .298 with 13 homers and 81 RBI during the season.

In two Classic games, he is 6-for-8 with five RBI. He has drawn a walk and reached on an error.

"That Morman guy, he beat us tonight," Smith said. "Everything we threw, he hit."

Nashville pitchers must have said the same thing after Game 5, when Morman collected two homers and five RBI in an 8-7 victory.

"Guys were talking about what I had done to prepare myself for that game," Morman said. "They said whatever it was, keep doing that."

Smith had pitched 9 1/3 shutout innings in the playoffs before Morman's single.

"He's got a big sweeping swing," Smith said of Morman. "You have to bust him in hard. We haven't established that. We have to start [tonight]."

Smith turned the game over to Woodward, and after Harvey Pulliam popped up for the second out, Hinzo tripled into the left-center-field gap. The ball was just out of the reach of Victor Hithe, who had replaced Donell Nixon before Morman's at-bat.

The Red Wings had taken a 4-3 lead in sixth inning when Nixon scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Tim Dulin.

Brad Komminsk, in his first playoff game, had tied the score with a leadoff home run in the inning off Encarnacion.

"It was satisfying, especially when I thought it would help win the game," Komminsk said.

The veteran was the last Red Wings position player to get into a playoff game.

"I would like to have been in there a long time ago," he said. "I'm not filling in the card."

Later in the inning, on the squeeze, the Red Wings took their first lead since a 2-0 advantage in the first inning.

Nixon, who led the Red Wings with 21 stolen bases in the regular season, stole his third of the playoffs against Encarnacion. Catcher Tim Spehr's throw went into center field and Nixon advanced to third.

Dulin, who tied for the team lead with seven sacrifice bunts during the season, dropped a bunt to the first-base side of the plate as Nixon broke for the plate and he scored standing up.

NOTES: Shane Turner is scheduled for X-rays on his right ring finger after spraining it on a swing in the eighth inning last night. The bat flew out of Turner's hand, catching the finger on the way. Turner continued the at-bat, getting a single. But he was unable to continue at shortstop.... Kansas City called up outfielder Gary Thurman yesterday. Omaha was expecting to add right-hander Archie Corbin from the Mets organization as the player to be named in the deal that sent Pat Tabler to the Mets.... Omaha left-hander Tony Ferreira is scheduled to face right-hander Mike Mussina in the season's final game at Silver Stadium.

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