Saints Slog Through Night, Tie Franchise Record by Walking 12 in 11-10 Loss to RailCats
ST. PAUL, MN - Maybe it was the two hour and 46-minute rain delay prior to the game. Maybe it was because they had played 13 consecutive days. Or maybe it was because it happened to be one of those nights. Whatever the reason, the St. Paul Saints tied a franchise record by walking 12 batters, for the third time this week a starting pitcher tied the franchise record with eight walks and both were too much to overcome in an 11-10 loss to the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Sunday night at CHS Field in front of 7,813.
Saints ace Eddie Medina, who hadn't pitched in 10 days and came in with the league's top ERA, looked rusty out of the gate as he gave up a one out single to Evan Marzilli in the first. He then proceeded to walk three straight, throwing a wild pitch that scored a run, and then giving up a sacrifice fly to Danny De La Calle making it 2-0 RailCats.
The Saints offense, however, returned the favor against Trevor Lubking, who entered with the seventh best ERA. With one out in the bottom of the first Dan Motl reached on an infield single. Blake Schmit singled and Brady Shoemaker walked to load the bases. Jeremy Martinez brought home two with a two-run single to center tying the game at two. Martinez has now reached base safely in 29 consecutive games. With two outs Josh Allen blasted a three-run homer to left, his seventh of the season, giving the Saints a 5-2 lead.
With the Saints up 5-3 in the bottom of the second Chesny Young singled and Max Murphy doubled him to third. A sacrifice fly by Motl scored Young and sent Murphy to third. Murphy would score on a wild pitch making it 7-3.
The Saints couldn't hold the lead, however, as the RailCats scored three in the fourth and two in the fifth. In the fourth Will Savage led off with a walk, Alex Crosby doubled him to third and a one out RBI groundout from Randy Santiesteban cut the Saints lead to 7-4. Medina threw a wild pitch allowing a run to score and then walked Willis and that ended Medina's night. Karch Kowalczyk came in and walked the first batter he faced before giving up an RBI single to De La Calle making it 7-6. Medina went 3.2 innings allowing six runs (five earned) on three hits while walking a franchise record tying eight, and struck out three.
In the fifth the RailCats took their first lead when Kowalczyk hit the leadoff batter Savage. With one out, Kowalczyk was removed for lefty Jordan Jess. He gave up an RBI double to Marzilli tying the game at seven. An infield single by Santiesteban put runners at first and second. An RBI double by Colin Willis gave the RailCats an 8-7 lead.
The Saints would come back, however, getting a solo homer from Devon Rodriguez in the fifth, his third of the season, and a solo homer from Martinez in the sixth, his fourth of the season, giving the Saints a 9-8 lead.
The lead lasted until the eighth when, with the bases loaded and two outs, Marzilli ripped his fourth hit of the night, a bases clearing double down the left field line giving the RailCats an 11-9 lead.
In the bottom of the inning the Saints nearly tied it as Motl singled with one out. Schmit doubled Motl to third and Shoemaker's sacrifice fly cut the deficit to one as Schmit took third. On the first pitch to Martinez the ball glanced off De La Calle's mitt and went to the backstop, but it hit below the padding, off the concrete wall and caromed back to the catcher as Schmit scampered back to third. Martinez would walk and Burt Reynolds flew out to center to end the inning.
The 12 walks by Saints pitchers, eight from Medina, two from Kowalczyk and two by Ryan Schlosser tied a franchise record that was set July 4, 1997 at Fargo-Moorhead.
The Saints welcome in the Texas AirHogs for game one of a three-game series on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP Jake Matthys (4-1, 4.64) to the mound against AirHogs LHP Sean Stutzman (2-1, 6.75). It is Auto Technicians Night presented by FVP and the first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive a City of Baseball Museum Series 1945 Vintage Hat. 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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