After losing two of three at home to the St. Paul Saints last weekend, the Gary Southshore RailCats opted to return the favor, taking two of three in St. Paul, including Sunday’s 3-2 victory. That came courtesy of Daniel Minor, who limited the Saints to one run in 5-innings of work, and the RailCats hit two homers in the one run affair.
Both Daniel Minor and Vinny Nittoli were dominating through the first three frames as neither team was able to score. That extended Nittoli’s scoreless streak to nine to start the season.
In the fourth, the Gary Southshore RailCats were able to break the scoreless tie. Colin Willis led off the inning by drilling his first homer of the year to make it 1-0. Garrett Copeland drew a walk before Wilfredo Gimenez singled. A fielder’s choice by Reggie Wilson put runners at the corners with one down and Copeland came home on a single by D.K. Carey to extend the lead to two.
Minor held the Saints to one hit through the first four innings, but they would finally mount a little rally against the right-hander in the fifth. Dante Bichette, Jr. started the inning with a single and moved to second when Kes Carter beat out an infield single two batters later. Josh Allen then grounded to the hole at short and he was able to beat it out for a single to load the bases with one out. Richard Prigatano followed with a hard hit ball to Andy DeJesus at short. DeJesus knocked the ball down, but could not recover in time and everyone was safe. Bichette scored to make it 2-1. Minor settled down, however, striking out Max Murphy before getting Brady Shoemaker to fly out.
In the sixth, the RailCats extended their lead back to two. With one down, Wilfredo Gimenez cleared the wall with his first homer of the year, making it 3-1.
Daniel Minor (2-0) came out after 5-innings. The right-hander allowed 5-hits and a run, while striking out 3.
Adam Quintana came on in the sixth and tossed two perfect frames, however, the Saints would mount a rally when he came out in the eighth. Keaton Steele came on and gave up a single but the runner was erased on a double-play. Shoemaker kept the inning alive with a base hit, and Keaton was replaced by Gabe Perez. Perez threw a wild pitch to move Shoemaker into scoring position and he came home on a single by Jayce Boyd.
Perez came out for the ninth and found himself in trouble right away when an error allowed Bichette to reach second base. However, the closer retired the next three batters to end the contest, as the Gary Southshore RailCats were victorious, 3-2. That was the first save of the season for Perez.
Wilfredo Gimenez finished 2-4 with a run and an RBI for Gary. Richard Prigatano was 2-4 with an RBI for the Saints.
The St. Paul Saints (6-3) now head to Texas to begin a 10 game road trip. They begin the first of four with the Texas AirHogs Monday night.
By Robert Pannier