Pitching Prevails as Saints Capitalize on Late Error for 2-1 Win over RailCats
ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints needed every bit of their 15 runs on Thursday night to defeat the Sioux Falls Canaries. On Friday night at CHS Field the Saints needed just two runs, along with a spectacular pitching performance by Spencer Jones, to down the Gary SouthShore RailCats 2-1 in front of 8,493. The win improves the Saints to 10-1 in the first game of a series and 23-10 on the season, best record in the American Association.
After scoring 55 runs and giving up 38 over the last four days, the number one pitching staff in the league looked more like it on Friday. Jones, who came off the disabled list to make his first start in 10 days, showed no signs of rust. After giving up a leadoff double in the first to Alex Crosby, Jones got Evan Marzilli to pop out and Will Savage to fly out to center. After a walk to Colin Willis put runners at the corners, Jones stuck out Randy Santiesteban to end the threat.
In the fourth, Jones was able to pitch out of another jam as Wilfredo Gimenez singled with one out. With two outs Andy DeJesus singled Gimenez to third, but Jones got Marcus Mooney to fly out to end the inning.
The Saints took that momentum into the bottom of the inning to score the first run of the game. With one out Brady Shoemaker walked and moved to second on a passed ball. Jeremy Martinez singled to center moving Shoemaker to third. Martinez has now reached base safely in 27 consecutive games. Burt Reynolds' fielder's choice ground out scored Shoemaker giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.
The lone hiccup for Jones came in the fifth when Savage singled to center with two outs. Willis doubled to the gap in right-center scoring Savage to tie the game at one. Jones retired the final seven men he faced and went 7.0 innings allowing one run on five hits while walking three and striking out four.
The Saints caught a big break in the eighth when Max Murphy singled to center with one out. He took second on a wild pitch and went to third on Dan Motl's cue shot in front of the plate as Gimenez threw out Motl at first. Blake Schmit then hit a deep fly ball to right that Willis went back in front of the wall and the ball glanced off his glove for a three base error that scored Murphy giving the Saints a 2-1 lead.
In the ninth, Saints reliever Jordan Jess walked the leadoff man DeJesus. With DeJesus running Mooney hit a comebacker that Jess fielded, spun and threw to second and shortstop Joey Wong fired to first for the double play. It was just the 15th double play, the lowest in the league, hit into by the RailCats this season. Jess walked Crosby, but struck out Marzilli looking to end the game.
The same two teams meet tomorrow in game two of the three-game series at CHS Field at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Dustin Crenshaw (3-2, 4.26) to the mound and the RailCats are TBA. It is Native American Heritage Night presented by Treasure Island Resort and Casino & Prairie Island Indian Community. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities area.
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American Association Stories from June 21, 2019
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