Seven Run Fourth Propels St. Paul Saints to 10-8 Victory
After giving up seven unanswered runs, the St. Paul Saints had to feel that their chances of coming back to defeat the Kansas City T-Bones were pretty slim. However, a seven run fourth inning turned the tide as the Saints went on to a 10-6 victory, their sixth straight win. Ryan Schlosser earned the victory with two outstanding innings of relief and Burt Reynolds hit his ninth home run since joining St. Paul.
Each team would get a pair of runs in the first-inning. Max Murphy walked to start the game and was replaced on the base paths on a fielder’s choice by Kyle Barrett. That brought Burt Reynolds to the plate, who crashed his 13th homer of the season to put the St. Paul Saints on top by two. It was the ninth home run by Reynolds in just his 17th game since joining the St. Paul Saints.
Kansas City responded right away in the bottom half of the inning. Dylan Tice led off the walk and scored when Todd Cunningham tripled into the gap in right field. The throw from the second baseman trying to nail him at third was wild, allowing Cunningham to come around to score and tie the game at two.
In the second, the T-Bones jumped all over starter Ryan Zimmerman. The Saints starter retired the first batter of the inning, but hit Mason Davis before giving up a single to Tice that put runners at the corners with one down. Cunningham singled to bring home Davis and scored on a sacrifice fly to extend the lead two. That brought Nick Torres to the plate, who crushed the first pitch he saw for his fourth home run of the season, a two run homer that extended the lead to four. Noah Perio, Jr. followed by drawing a walk and scored on in Adrian Nieto double to make it 7-2 Kansas City.
Barrett Astin settled down after giving up the two early runs, tossing scoreless frames in the second and the third innings. However, in the fourth, the wheels came off. Back to back to back walks to Reynolds, Brady Shoemaker, and Zach Walters started the inning. Two batters later Dante Bichette, Jr. drove in a run with a base hit and Shoemaker came into score when Nathaniel Maggio drew a bases-loaded walk. A sacrifice fly by Anthony Phillips brought home Walters before Murphy singled to reload the bases. Barrett then grounded a single up the middle that brought home both Bichette and Maggio, and Reynolds singled to bring home Murphy to give the Saints back the lead. A double by Shoemaker brought Barrett home and St. Paul was up by a pair.
It was all about the bullpen after the second inning for St. Paul. Ryan Schlosser (2-0) had come on for Zimmerman in the third, and tossed two perfect innings. Ken Frosch tossed 1.1-innings of scoreless relief, striking out two before Beck Wheeler tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless ball.
In the eighth, the St. Paul Saints extended their lead to three. Marcus Crescentini struck out the first two batters of the inning, but Barrett doubled to keep the inning alive before Reynolds drew a walk. Shoemaker then singled into left, bringing Barrett around to make it a 10-7 game.
Andrew Thome came on for St. Paul in the bottom of the eighth, and Kansas City responded with a run of their own. Nieto walked before Keith Curcio hit into a fielder’s choice. A single moved Curcio to second and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Tice. That cut the deficit to two, but the T-Bones would get no closer.
Mike Devine came on in the eighth with the bases-loaded and one down, and was able to retire the final two batters of the inning. He returned for the ninth, giving up a one-out single but struck out two batters to earn his second save of the season.
Burt Reynolds finished 2-3 with 2-runs, and 3-RBI for the St. Paul Saints. Kyle Barrett was 2-5 with 3-runs and 2-RBI. Nick Torres led Kansas City, going 3-5 with a run and 2-RBI.
The St. Paul Saints will look for a sweep tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.
By Robert Pannier