A Night to Forget as Saints Get Hammered 11-4 by T-Bones in Game 1 of Finals

September 12, 2018 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints News Release

ST. PAUL, MN - Two players that started the season with the St. Paul Saints did damage against their former team in Game 1 of the American Association Finals. Noah Perio Jr. and Anthony Phillips made their mark, but so did the rest of the T-Bones lineup. The Saints gave up 20 hits and were trounced 11-4 by the Kansas City T-Bones on Tuesday night in front of 3,380 at CHS Field. The Saints now trail the best-of-five Finals one-game-to-none.

Saints starter Chris Nunn, who was magnificent in Game 1 of the North Division Series, didn't make it past the third inning. In the first Ryan Brett, who went 4-6 on the night, grounded a double down the third base line to lead off the game. With two outs Perio Jr. hit one towards left, and utilized the 15 mile per hour wind blowing out in that direction, as the ball just cleared the wall for a two-run homer, his second of the playoffs, to make it 2-0.

In the second Alay Lago, who finished the night 4-5, led off with a single to right. With one out Anthony Phillips, who collected two hits against his former team, looped a single into left-center. After Nunn struck out Danny Hayes, Brett came through with an RBI single to left making it 3-0. Mason Davis followed with a double down the right field line scoring a pair to make it 5-0.

The Saints got one back in the third as Dan Motl walked with two outs and swiped second base. Joey Wong hit a grounder up the middle that Lago made a backhanded diving stop on, but the ball ricocheted back towards the infield allowing Motl to race around and score cutting the deficit to 5-1.

That was as close as the Saints would get as the T-Bones added a run in the third courtesy of the Saints first error of the playoffs. Once again the run scored with two outs as Lago singled and Keith Curcio followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Phillips hit a grounder to third that Dante Bichette Jr. couldn't come up with allowing Lago to score making it 6-1. Nunn went 3.0 innings allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits while striking out five.

Matt Solter took over and would pitch the next 5.0 innings, but didn't fair much better. In the fourth the Saints threw the ball around again as Davis was hit by a pitch with one out. Davis then strayed too far from first following a pitch, but catcher Justin O'Conner's throw went into right field allowing Davis to go to third. Todd Cunningham then hit a slow grounder to first and Brady Shoemaker's throw home went awry as Davis scored and the T-Bones led 7-1.

The T-Bones added three more in the sixth as Cunningham doubled and Perio Jr. hit his second homer of the game, and third of the playoffs, making it 9-1. Adrian Nieto then doubled and Lago singled him home making it 10-1.

In the seventh the Saints offense showed a little life as O'Conner led off by being hit by a pitch. Motl singled him to second and Wong knocked home his second run of the night with a single to center making it 10-2. Max Murphy loaded the bases by reaching on a little tapper in between the plate and the mound as pitcher Kevin Hill's throw was high and pulled Perio Jr. off the bag. A fielder's choice by Kyle Barrett scored Motl making it 10-3.

The T-Bones added their final run of the night on a solo homer by Nieto in the eighth, his second of the playoffs, making it 11-3 T-Bones. Solter went 5.0 innings allowing five runs (four earned) on 10 hits while walking one and striking out two.

The Saints last run came in the ninth when they loaded the bases on a hit by pitch and two walks. Barrett's sacrifice fly brought home Motl.

Game 2 of the American Association Finals is Wednesday night at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (9-5, 2.80/1-0, 2.57) against T-Bones RHP Hunter Adkins (6-7, 4.56/0-0, 3.86). The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on Alt 93.3 FM.

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