Game-Tying Run Thrown out at Plate in 9th as 'Cats Drop to Saints, 3-2
GARY, IND. - 6.1 innings of three-run ball from Justin Sinibaldi and 2.2 scoreless innings from the Gary bullpen wasn't enough on the final Thirsty Thursday of the season at U.S. Steel Yard as the RailCats were edged out by the St. Paul Saints, 3-2. Following Thursday's defeat, Gary has now dropped a season-high-tying six straight series and are a season-worst 20 games below .500.
St. Paul (56-33) took the opening lead of the night with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Chesny Young dropped a single into shallow right-center field to begin the inning before Blake Schmit drew a five-pitch walk. Mike Aiello followed Schmit with an RBI single to center for the first run of the night. With Schmit on third and Aiello on second, Dan Motl delivered the final run of the frame with an RBI groundout to the left side of the infield.
Gary (35-55) quickly countered with its only runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 2-2. Ray Jones and Andy De Jesus drew consecutive one-out walks before Jackson Smith with hit in the right hip to load the bases. Marcus Mooney followed with a two-run single down the left field line, giving the "Cats their first hit and only runs of the evening.
The Saints took the lead for good with the game's final run in the seventh. Schmit reached base for the third straight time with the second of his two infield singles to begin the inning. Schmit then stole second before moving up to third on a wild pitch from Andrew Cartier. Aiello then walked before Motl drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly down the left field line.
The RailCats put the tying run on third in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to score. Colin Willis was hit in the back by Saints left-handed reliever Ken Frosch to begin the inning before stealing second. Alex Crosby then grounded out to short, moving Willis up to third. With the St. Paul infield drawn all the way in, Jones hit a one-hopper to second baseman Josh Allen, who came up firing to the plate and gunned Willis out on a bang-bang play. De Jesus then grounded out to third on the first pitch from Karch Kowalczyk to end the game.
Sinibaldi (5-6) yielded six hits, walked a pair and struck out three in his second straight quality start in the defeat. Cartier retired two of three batters he faced in 0.2 hitless innings of relief while Ryan Thurston and Sandy Lugo each worked a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.
Saints All-Star Eddie Medina (9-2) picked up the win with eight innings of one-run ball. The right-hander retired the first 10 batters he faced, yielded just three hits and three walks, hit a batter, and struck out seven in his second start against Gary. Frosch recorded his second hold in as many nights with 0.2 hitless innings of relief while Kowalczyk (1) picked up the save despite throwing just one pitch.
Gary concludes its three-game homestand on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. vs. St. Paul. RailCats' rookie left-hander Seth Hougesen (3-3, 5.36) opposes Saints' left-hander Jordan Jess (6-0, 3.47) in the series finale.
Friday's game is Breakfast Club Night, a Fireworks Super Show and the last Fifth Third Bank Fireworks Friday. Breakfast Club Night includes breakfast concession specials and 80s music throughout the game.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com and can also be purchased by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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