On Tuesday night, the St. Paul Saints were only able to hold the Kansas City T-Bones off the scoreboard in three innings, as their pitching staff was pounded for 11 runs and 20 hits. On Wednesday night, Eddie Medina accomplished that feat in just three innings as he dominated Kansas City by allowing three hits over eight innings of work to lead the St. Paul Saints to a 6-0 victory. Zach Walters and Dante Bichette, Jr. each homered to help lead the St. Paul offense.
Hunter Adkins started for Kansas City and both Adkins and Saints starter Eddie Medina were dominating through the first three innings. Medina retired the first eight batters he faced, issuing a two-out walk in the third but, after giving up his first hit of the game, was able to get a fly out to end the third inning. The Saints had two hits through the first three innings, but both of those batters were erased, one on a double-play and the other trying to extend his single into a double.
In the fourth, St. Paul would finally break the scoreless tie. Max Murphy led off with a double and moved to third on a passed ball. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Barrett and the St. Paul Saints had the lead, 1-0.
An inning later, the Saints had a golden opportunity to blow this came open. Justin O’Conner led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a base hit by Nathaniel Maggio. Dan Motl then attempted to lay down a sacrifice. Adrian Nieto came from behind home plate and threw to third attempting to get the lead runner, but his throw was late and everyone was safe. Joey Wong then hit into a fielder’s choice that brought O’Conner home and the Saints lead was two. There were still runners at first and third and only one out, but Adkins was able to induce a double-play to end the inning.
Adkins came out after the fifth, as the T-bones turned to reliever Joe Filomeno in the sixth. He retired the first batter of the inning before walking Brady Shoemaker. That brought Zach Walters to the plate.
In yesterday’s game, Noah Perio, Jr., the other part of the trade that sent Walters to St. Paul, homered twice against his former team. Not to be shown up, Walters lined an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for a two run homer to extend the lead to four. That brought Dante Bichette, Jr. to the plate, who crushed his first postseason home run over the wall in left field to make it a 5-0 game.
Nick Lee came on in the seventh for the T-Bones and retired the first two batters, but the third proved to be elusive, as Murphy singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Barrett followed with a single to score Murphy, giving St. Paul a 6-0 lead.
Eddie Medina was absolutely brilliant. The right-hander, who is no stranger to postseason play after starting games in the American Association finals the last two seasons, dominated Kansas City throughout the contest. Medina (2-0), gave of hits in the third, fifth, and seventh-innings, with the seventh being the only threat the T-Bones posed in the contest.
Perio walked to start the inning but was replaced on the base path when Adrian Nieto inexplicably laid down a sacrifice bunt. O’Conner quickly moved out from behind the plate, throwing to second to get Perio. Two batters later, Alay Lago singled into right field. Nieto rounded second, opting to go for third, but he was thrown out easily for the final out of the inning.
Medina came out after eight. He allowed 3-hits and 2-walks, striking out 5. Zack Jones came on in the ninth looking to finish the shutout, the third by the Saints this postseason.
Zach Walters finished 1-4 with a run and 2-RBI. Max Murphy was 2-4 with 2-runs scored and Kyle Barrett drove in 2. Dante Bichette was 2-4 with a run and an RBI.
Game 3 will be Friday night in Kansas City. The Saints will send Trevor Foss to the hill. He will be opposed by Tommy Collier. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier