Saints 5-Run Fourth Sinks RailCats in Game 2 of North Division Series
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A five-run bottom of the fourth, eight unanswered runs and seven innings of two-run ball from Eddie Medina propelled the St. Paul Saints past the Gary SouthShore RailCats, 8-2, in game two of the North Division Series on a cool Thursday night at CHS Field. The RailCats now trail the Saints, 2-0, in the best of the five series and have to win three straight games in order to advance to the American Association Finals.
Gary (59-41, 0-2) took their first lead of an American Association playoff game for the first time since Game 4 of the 2013 Championship Series on Sept. 14 against the Wichita Wingnuts with a pair of runs in the first. Will Savage pulled a double down the third base line on the third pitch of the game before scoring on Tillman Pugh's opposite-field RBI single. Colin Willis advanced Pugh up to third with a groundout to first before Ronnie Mitchell brought in Pugh to score the RailCats final run with a two-out RBI single to center.
St. Paul (59-41, 2-0) evened the game at 2-2 with a pair of runs in the third. Kyle Barrett led off the frame with a single to right field for his second hit of three hits before Burt Reynolds drew a five-pitch walk. Brady Shoemaker followed Reynolds with an RBI double off the top of the left-center wall, plating Barrett from second. With Reynolds on third, Zach Walters delivered an RBI groundout to the left side of the infield, bringing in Reynolds to score.
The Saints answered with five runs in the fourth after bringing 10 to the plate to take a 7-2 lead. Back-to-back one-out singles from Joey Wong and Max Murphy gave the Saints runners on first and second. Barrett then gave St. Paul their first lead with an RBI single to center. Gabe Perez then relieved Lars Liguori with runners on the corners and walked Reynolds to load the bases. Shoemaker made it 4-2 with a sacrifice fly to left before Walters increased the Saints lead to three with a two-out RBI double to right-center. Dante Bichette Jr. followed Walters with a two-run single to left, scoring both Reynolds and Walters for the final runs of the inning.
St. Paul increased their lead to six to take their biggest lead of the postseason at 8-2 with the final run of the evening in the seventh. Dan Motl was his in the left shoulder to begin the frame. Motl then stole second before advancing to third on the catching error by Andy De Jesus on the throw down to second from Andy Paz. Wong then scored Motl with a sacrifice fly to center for his first RBI of the series.
Liguori (4-7, 0-1) was charged with the loss in his first postseason start as a RailCat. The southpaw went 3.1 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks and struck out three. Medina (9-5, 1-0) recorded his second postseason victory vs. Gary in the last two years after yielding two runs on five hits, three walks and seven strikeouts.
Game three of the North Division Series flips to U.S. Steel Yard on Friday and is at 7:10 p.m. Neither team has announced their starters.
Playoff tickets for game three of the North Division Series against St. Paul are available online at railcatsbaseball.com with tickets starting at $7. Jared Shlensky and Brennan Mense bring you all 100 RailCats game this season on WEFM (95.9 FM) and online at railcatsbaseball.com. Ticket packages for the 2018 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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