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Bats explode to lead Sox back into first alone
Thomas goes six strong for second straight W
01/20/2013 1:37 AM ET
Brad Thomas earned his second straight victory on Saturday.
Brad Thomas earned his second straight victory on Saturday. (Ben Southall / SMP Images)
CANBERRA, 19 January - Brad Thomas tossed six innings and Mitch Dening drove in four runs as the Sydney Blue Sox (24-17) took a 10-2 win over the Canberra Cavalry driven by Rolfe Renault (23-18) on a cool Saturday night at Narrabundah Ballpark.

With the aid of four Canberra errors, the Blue Sox won for the sixth time in seven games, while the Cavalry dropped their seventh game over their past eight contests. The win puts Sydney back in to sole possession of first place by one game with five regular season contests remaining.

"I thought Thommo did a great job tonight by giving us six really solid innings and our bullpen did a fantastic job by shutting down that offence for three innings," Blue Sox manager Jason Pospishil said. "We swung the bats well again, and paired with their errors we just took what they gave us and took advantage."

For the third straight game the Sox took a big lead early with four runs in the third inning. JD Williams and Trent D'Antonio executed a double-steal, and Williams scored the game's first run on an error on the play. Two batters later, Dening ripped a triple down the right-field line, scoring D'Antonio and Zach Penprase. The following batter, James Robbins, singled to score Dening and put the visitors ahead 4-0.

The Cavalry stole two runs back in the bottom of the third, but the Sydney bats rebounded with single runs in the fourth and fifth frames. In the fourth Dening again drove in Penprase, while in the fifth, Boss Moanaroa joined the hit parade, singling in Geoff Klein and giving the Sox a 6-2 advantage.

The Sox completed the rout in the eighth inning by putting up another four-spot. D'Antonio scored on an error before Dening doubled home Penprase. Later in the frame, Chris Snelling chopped a grounder down the first-base line but it got past Aaron Sloan, allowing two more runs to score on the error and closing the scoring at 10-2.

Thomas (2-2) took the win, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts in six innings. The combination of Luke Wilkins, Wayne Lundgren and Caleb Cuevas shut down the Cavalry over the final three innings to preserve the win.

Dening finished 3-for-5, falling just a home run shy of the cycle, and taking over the league-lead in batting average at .354. Robbins contributed three hits of his own, while Klein and D'Antonio both chipped in two hits.

The rivals complete their series and season series Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Narrabundah Ballpark. Right-hander Tim Atherton (2-1, 2.29 ERA) gets the ball for Sydney while righty John Holdzkom (3-3, 4.82) will start for Canberra.

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