Another One Run Game, Saints Score Late to Win 3-2
ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints are more than accustomed to playing one run games in 2019. They hope playing all these tight games will pay off as they make a push for the playoffs over the next three weeks. Josh Allen's eighth inning RBI single was enough to get the Saints a 3-2 victory over the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Saturday night at CHS Field in front of 8,319. The one-run contest was their 31st of the season, one shy of the franchise record of 32 set in 1994, and their 17th win in such games, tying the 2016 club for most wins in a one-run game. The win improves the Saints to 47-31 on the season.
With the game tied at two in the bottom of the eighth Brady Shoemaker began the inning with a bullet off the third baseman Hayden Schilling's glove for an infield single. With one out Jeremy Martinez sacrificed Shoemaker to second. Allen then drilled a line drive single to center as Shoemaker scored from second to give the Saints the eventual winning run.
The Saints were only in a position to take the lead in the bottom half because reliever Karch Kowalczyk was magnificent in the top half. Ken Frosch started the inning by giving up a double off the wall in right to Colin Willis. Ray Jones' grounder back to the mound sent Willis to third. Frosch departed for Kowalczyk and he managed to strike out Wilfredo Gimenez. After a walk to Schilling, Kowalczyk froze Daniel Gardner on a change up to strike him out and end the inning.
The Saints took the lead in the third when Blake Schmit dropped a fly ball double into left-center field. With one out Dan Motl ripped an RBI single into left-center scoring Schmit and giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.
Saints starter Jake Matthys, who was re-signed prior to the game, was solid in his 5.1 innings of work. He got defensive help in the third when Willis singled with two outs and runners at first and second. Right fielder Michael Lang gunned out Andy DeJesus at the plate to end the inning.
In the fifth the RailCats tied it when Daniel Gardner led off with a single and Marcus Mooney's fielder's choice erased Garnder. Alex Crosby's single to left-center advanced Mooney to third. The RailCats then pulled off the double steal as Crosby took off for second, Saints catcher Jeremy Martinez threw down to second, and the relay throw back home wasn't in time to get Mooney as he slid under the tag tying the game at one.
The Saints regained the lead in the fifth when Schmit walked with one out. Baker singled him to second and Motl came through with his second RBI on a single to center. Motl finished the night 3-4 with two RBI.
In the sixth the RailCats tied it again when Willis led off with a walk and stole second. With one out Gimenez' groundball was misplayed by Chris Baker at short and the error allowed Willis to score tying it at two. Matthys went 5.1 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits while walking one and striking out four.
The Saints bullpen did the rest with Chris Lee (1.2 IP), Frosch (0.1 IP) and Kowalczyk (1.2 IP) allowing no runs on just two hits over the final 3.2 innings.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. The Saints send LHP Jordan Jess (5-0, 3.00) to the mound against RailCats RHP Nile Ball (1-0, 5.21). The Saints will celebrate the Twin Cities Latino Community. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on KSTC-TV, 45TV.
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