Canberra Cavalry's unstoppable offensive continued with a 10-1 drubbing of Perth Heat at Narrabundah Ballpark on Thursday night.
After stunning the Heat by taking three of four games in Perth last week, the Cavs picked up where they left off, with back-to-back four-run innings in the fifth and sixth blowing the visitors away.
The win lifts the Cavalry (20-10) 3½ games clear of the Heat and Sydney Blue Sox (both 17-14), who suffered a surprise 7-3 loss to the struggling Bite in Adelaide on Thursday night.
With the scores locked at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth, the Cavalry's big bats burst into life.
A clutch two-out single by Jack Murphy brought Kody Hightower and Ryan Stovall home, before Michael Wells homered to left field to give Canberra a 5-1 lead.
The home side replicated that effort in the sixth with a two-run Hightower bomb to left sandwiched in between an RBI double to Aaron Sloan and an RBI single to Wells, for a 9-1 lead.
Adam Buschini continued his outstanding season, with his seventh homer of the season completing the rout in the eighth inning.
Earlier, Marcus Knecht gave Canberra a second inning lead when he went yard to left field, before the Heat levelled proceedings in the fourth when Josh McGee doubled to bring home Allan de San Miguel for the visitors' only run of the night.
Canberra has now scored 82 runs in its past 11 games at an average of just under 7½ runs per game. But few Cavalrymen have been as influential in the side's charge to the top of the ABL ladder than pitcher Brian Grening.
The Cavalry ace improved his unblemished record to 4-0 and lowered his earned-run average to 2.24 after giving up just four hits and striking out seven batters in seven innings of solid work.
Cavalry will look to extend its lead over the Heat when game two of the four-game series begins at 7pm on Friday night at the Fort.
HEAT 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 - 1
CAVALRY 0 1 0 0 4 4 0 1 x - 10
At Narrabundah Ballpark on Thursday night.
RBIs: Perth - McGee; Canberra - Wells 3 (HR), Murphy 2, Hightower 2 (HR), Buschini (HR), Knecht (HR), Callaway.