Homers Power Cats Past AirHogs 6-5

Michael Bell hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth lifting the Cats to a 6-5 comeback victory over the AirHogs on Monday night.

Batting with one out in the inning against closer James Morrison, the Cats’ third baseman belted his ninth home run of the season over the wall in left to give Fort Worth its first lead of the contest. The Cats at one point in the game trailed 3-0 and 5-2.

Grand Prairie scored twice in the first inning as Aaron Garza led off with a double to left, Brandon Carter followed with a single before Cesar Nicolas drove home Garza with a run-scoring single. Carter came into score when the next batter Michael Conroy bounced into a double play.

AirHogs starter Kieran Mattison held the Cats hitless through the first 3 1/3 innings, but then walked Michael Bell with one out in the fourth before John Allen broke an 0-for-10 slide at the plate by belting a two-run homer to left. It was Allen's sixth home run of the season. 

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Grand Prairie got those two runs back in the bottom of the fourth as Chad Gabriel smacked a two-run homer, his fourth of the season to give the AirHogs a 5-2 lead.

Allen homered for the second time in the game in the sixth inning as he hit a leadoff home run against Mattison. It was Allen's first multi-home run game since he hit four homers against El Paso on Aug. 16, 2008. 

The Cats tied the game in the eighth inning as Pat O'Sullivan reached on an error. Ryan Patterson doubled to left field before O'Sullivan scored on a passed ball and Patterson came home on an RBI single by Kelley Gulledge to knot the game 5-5. Gulledge earlier in the day was named the American Association's Batter of the Week after hitting .500 last week. 

Cats' starter Matt Gibbs allowed four earned runs on eight hits in seven innings of work but received no decision. Tyler Pearson pitched a scoreless eighth for his third win of the season. Gary Lee notched his third save by retiring the side in the ninth.

With the win the Cats took 2-of-3 in the series with Grand Prairie and went 4-2 on their six-game road trip. Their three home runs in the game lifted their season total to 50, the most in the American Association.

The Cats return to LaGrave Field in Fort Worth on Tuesday night to begin a three-game series with the St. Paul Saints. Ryan Riddle goes to the mound for the Cats with Tom Buske scheduled to pitch for the Saints.

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