Blacksher Strong, But Wingnuts Drop Tight Game in St. Paul
ST. PAUL, MN- The Wichita Wingnuts lost 6-2 to the St. Paul Saints at Midway Stadium on Monday night.
Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, the Saints broke the game open with a four-run inning. Derek Blacksher, who took a tough loss, allowed a leadoff double to Steve Mays down the left field line. Blacksher retired Adam Frost on a flyout to center before issuing an intentionall walk to Ronnie Bourquin. Marcos Tabata relieved Blacksher and allowed a groundball single through the left side of the infield to Ole Sheldon that scored Mays to give St. Paul an insurance run. Tabata struck out Jason Cooper for the second out of the inning, but Argelis Nunez, Richard Mercado, and Jonathan Van Every each collected a two-out, RBI single, allowing St. Paul to take a 6-1 lead.
The Wingnuts rallied for an unearned run in the top of the ninth before stranding the bases loaded with the tying run at the plate to end the game. Jesse English retired Gerardo Bustamante for the final out and earned the save. The Wingnuts stranded 12 runners on base in the loss.
The Saints struck first in the bottom of the second. Nunez doubled down the right field line with one out and scored on an error charged to Josh Horn at shortstop.
Mays hit a sacrifice fly to right in the bottom of the fifth to make it 2-0 St. Paul.
In the top of the sixth, Juan Richardson was hit by a pitch and took third on a single through the right side from Carlos Rivera. Bustamante followed with a hard groundball single to center that cut the lead in half. A wild pitch later in the frame gave the Wingnuts second and third with two outs. Peter Barrows hit a deep drive down the right field line that was caught by a tumbling Nunez to save the tying and go-ahead runs. Bustamante took over at DH after the fourth inning when Jorge Delgado was ejected for arguing a called third strike with home plate umpire Danny Hymel.
Still trailing 2-1 in the top of the eighth, Richardson led off with a double, but relievers Caleb Thielbar and Kyle Foster prevented the Wingnuts from tying the game.
Blacksher allowed four runs, three earned, in the loss. Blacksher yielded just three hits in seven and one-third innings, walked four, and struck out five.
Alberto Rolon earned the win for the Saints, allowing one earned run on seven hits in seven-plus innings. Rolon walked two and struck out six.
Richardson reached base four times in the loss with a single, double, walk, and hit batsman.
The Wingnuts are now 2.0 games behind the Saints for the wild card and 3.0 back of the Gary SouthShore RailCats for the Central Division lead. All three teams have 20 games remaining this season.
The series continues Tuesday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. Nick Singleton will be on the mound for the Wingnuts. All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 93.5 KWME and worldwide at www.kleyam.com
The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 16th when they host the Kansas City T-Bones. For tickets, call the Wingnuts' office at (316) 264-NUTS or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com.
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