Saints Hand RailCats Sixth Straight Loss with 4-3 Walk-Off Win
ST. PAUL, MINN. - Devon Rodriguez's walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of ninth handed Gary their season-high sixth straight loss on Saturday night in front of 7,714 at CHS Field as the Saints downed the RailCats, 4-3. Following Saturday's defeat, Gary has now dropped five consecutive series, their last eight road games and 12 of their last 14 contests.
Tied 3-3 entering the bottom of the ninth, RailCats closer Sandy Lugo walked Dan Motl on five pitches to begin the frame. Blake Schmit then reached on a fielder's choice before swiping second base. Lugo then intentionally walked Brady Shoemaker before hitting Jeremy Martinez on a 1-2 pitch, loading the bases for Rodriguez. Rodriguez followed Shoemaker with a walk-off sacrifice fly to right, bringing home Schmit from third for the game-winning run.
Gary (12-20) jumped out in front for the second consecutive game on Colin Willis' two-out, two-run opposite-field double to left-center in the sixth. Alex Crosby reached on a fielder's choice before Will Savage singled to left. Two hitters later, Willis delivered his second and third RBIs of the series.
The RailCats took their biggest lead of the evening at 3-0 with their final run in the top of the seventh. Ray Jones tripled off the top of the right-center field wall with one but before Andy De Jesus brought him home with an RBI single into right field.
St. Paul (24-10) got on the board via Max Murphy's solo homer in the bottom of the seventh. Murphy's solo blast was his league-leading 12th of the year and sixth homer in the Saints' last six games.
The Saints rallied to tie the game at 3-3 with a pair of two-out runs in the eighth. Josh Allen doubled off RailCats reliever Ryan Thurston with two outs before Chesny Young made it 3-2 with an opposite-field RBI single to right-center. Gary manager Greg Tagert then went to his closer Lugo for the four-out save, but Lugo allowed an RBI double to the first batter he faced in Joey Wong, scoring Young all the way from first for the game-tying run.
Lugo (0-2) recorded his consecutive loss after allowing one run on one hit, two walks and a hit batsman over one inning. Thurston was charged with his first blown save of the season after allowing two runs on two hits while striking out one over 0.2 innings of relief.
Jumpei Akanuma tossed three scoreless innings in his first professional start while Nick Floyd tossed two hitless innings in his first professional relief appearance. Frank Moscatiello (1) recorded his first American Association hold after allowing one run on one hit while striking out one over two innings out of the bullpen.
Saints' closer Todd Van Steensel (2-0) recorded the win with a scoreless top of the ninth in his first appearance of the series. Saints' starter Dustin Crenshaw didn't factor into the decision after allowing three runs over 6.2 innings while Ryan Schlosser tossed 1.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen in a no-decision.
Gary and St. Paul conclude their three-game series on Sunday evening at CHS Field at 5:05 p.m. RailCats' left-hander Trevor Lubking (4-3, 2.72) makes his team-high ninth start in the series finale while the Saints have yet to announce their starter.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Friday, June 28th for a three-game homestand vs. the reigning American Association Champion Kansas City T-Bones. Friday's game is AmeriCAN Beer Fest, presented by Berey Bros., Indiana 105 Country Night, and another Fifth Third Bank Fireworks Friday.
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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American Association Stories from June 22, 2019
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