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Kennelly and Hughes blast HEAT to victory
11/18/2010 1:23 AM ET
Matt Kennelly celebrates his winning home run
Matt Kennelly celebrates his winning home run (SMP Images)
Home runs to Luke Hughes and Matt Kennelly led the Alcohol Think Again Perth HEAT to a 4-2 win over Adelaide Bite in their Australian Baseball League season home opener.

The HEAT's winning streak extended to four games, while the Bite suffered their first loss of the season after sweeping Melbourne last week. Both teams are now 4-1 for the season.

Kennelly hit a two-run homer to put Perth in front in the bottom of the fourth, before Hughes' solo home run an inning later doubled their advantage.

Hughes, who is playing in his last series for the HEAT before going to play in Venezuela, went 3-3 while Kennelly went 1-4. Quincy Latimore (2-4) was the Bite's best offensive performer.

Despite Perth's impressive start, head coach Brooke Knight called for caution.

"It's still early, we don't want to get too excited. We've still got a lot of growth to do," he said.

Cameron Lamb picked up the win in relief and Brett Jacobson got the save, while Adelaide's Paul Mildren suffered the loss.

Mildren was unable to repeat the heroics he produced against Melbourne last week as the HEAT batting line-up scored four runs off seven hits from his 5.2 innings of work.

Perth starter Liam Baron left the game after allowing two runs over 4.1 innings.

Adelaide went ahead in the first after a Latimore double and a Ben Wigmore ground out allowed Jeremy Creswell to score. The Bite scored again in the top of the second to extend their lead.

The HEAT responded in the bottom half of the inning after right fielder Tom Brice dropped a routine Kennelly fly ball as Evan McArthur scored.

Kennelly's homer in the bottom of the fourth put Perth in front, before Hughes' long ball off the centre field shed made the score 4-2.

The Bite thought they'd tied the score when Todd Gossage hit a home run-distance ball over the right field fence, but the first base umpire ruled it to be foul.

Relief pitchers Lamb, Tyler Anderson and Jacobson combined to keep Adelaide scoreless after Baron left the game, and Knight hailed their performance.

"I thought we pitched well again. Baron did a nice job, he had a couple of pitches where he got hurt, but he kept us in the game, which is your job as a starter," the HEAT coach said.

"Lamb was sharp again and was tough on the middle of their order, and then Anderson and Jacobson came in and did what they needed to do.

"Baron's pitch count was already up, it was already near 80. We could've left him in there, but we liked the matchup of Lamb coming into face the right-handed bats in the middle of their order."

Game-two of the series is at 11am tomorrow.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.