A Sense of Relief as Saints Win Eighth Straight with 5-2 Victory over RailCats
GARY, IN - During their last seven games the St. Paul Saints trailed for a total of one inning. In 63.0 innings of baseball they fell behind in just two, half innings only to take the lead in their next at bats. On Tuesday night at the U.S. Steel Yard the Saints fell behind the Gary SouthShore RailCats through five innings, but for the first time during their now eight game win streak they came from behind to win 5-2 as the bullpen tossed 5.1 scoreless innings. The win improves the Saints to 55-33 and they are now 3.0 games up on a playoff spot with 12 games left.
The RailCats scored two in the second off of Saints starter Jake Matthys. Michael Blatchford led off with a single to right. With one out, Daniel Gardner reached on a fielding error by first baseman John Silviano putting runners at first and second. Marcus Mooney followed with a nine pitch at bat and doubled in both runs giving the RailCats a 2-0 lead. Matthys lasted just 3.2 innings before the bullpen took over.
In the fourth the Saints got on the board when Jabari Henry led off with a double and scored on a two-out double by Silviano to make it 2-1.
Saints reliever Chris Lee was spectacular as the first reliever out of the bullpen. Taking over with a runner at second and two outs in the fourth, he struck out Alex Crosby to end the inning.
In the fifth, Lee gave up a two out single to Colin Willis, but recorded a strike out on all three outs. Lee went 2.1 shutout innings allowing one hit while walking one and striking out four. He now has 23 strikeouts in 14.0 innings pitched.
That allowed the Saints to take their first lead of the night in the sixth when they loaded the bases with nobody out on back-to-back singles from Jeremy Martinez and Josh Allen and a hit by pitch to Silviano. Chesny Young and Chris Baker each added a sacrifice fly to give the Saints a 3-2 lead.
Karch Kowalczyk pitched a scoreless seventh and Ken Frosch retired the side in order in the eighth for the Saints.
The Saints added two insurance runs in the ninth as Michael Lang and Brady Shoemaker reached on one out singles. With two outs Martinez walked to load the bases. Allen then hit a sinking liner to center that was just missed by a diving Gardner allowing two runs to score and giving the Saints a three-run cushion.
In the ninth, Tanner Kiest retired the first two hitters on strikeouts before giving up a walk and an infield single. Kiest would fan Hayden Schilling to end the game and pick up his fifth save of the season.
The same two teams meet in the second game of the three-game series on Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (8-2, 2.84) to the mound against RailCats RHP Justin Sinibaldi (5-5, 3.03). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
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