Medina Effective in Saints 3-2 Victory
The St. Paul Saints didn’t allow the doubts of Saturday night’s blown lead to creep into their minds on Sunday afternoon. The Saints closed the door this time in the ninth and hung on to defeat the Winnipeg Goldeyes 3-2 at Shaw Park. With the win the Saints improved to 31-17 on the season.
The story of the game was Eddie Medina, who once again battled some control issues but kept the Goldeyes hitters off balance. He left the game with one out in the eighth and a 3-1 lead as Jordan Jess came on in relief. Wes Darvill greeted him with a single to center, but Jess got Reggie Abercrombie to hit a grounder to short. Matt Morales was able to force Darvill at second, but the throw to first was a little late. That would come back to hurt the Saints as Kyle Martin singled Abercrombie to third. Cody Young’s single in the hole between short and third went off the glove of the shortstop Morales and scored Abercrombie to make it 3-2. Jordan Hovey hit a slow roller to second for an infield single that loaded the bases. Jess, however, would get out of the inning as Kevin Garcia hit a grounder to Josh Allen at second who flipped to second for the force out to end the inning.
In the ninth, Landon Beck looked for his first save of the season a day after Todd Van Steensel threw 37 pitches. Tyler Hill hit a grounder down the first base line that John Silviano managed to make a fine play on to get the first out. Alex Perez then hit a soft liner to second for the second out. James Harris then walked and, on an 0-2 pitch to Wes Darvill, he stole second to put the tying run in scoring position. Beck would finally get Darvill on the seventh pitch of the at bat with a 91 mile per hour fastball up in the zone that Darvill swung and missed to end the game. It was the first save by a pitcher other that Van Steensel this season.
The Saints ace Medina has gutted out his last three appearances. On a day when he walked six, he was dominant when he threw strikes. In the first inning he gave up a one out single to Perez and walked the next hitter Harris. Medina would get Darvill to fly out and Abercrombie to foul out to end the inning.
The Saints got on the board in the second when Silviano walked, moved to third on a Devon Rodriguez single and scored on Morales’ sacrifice fly giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning Medina walked the leadoff hitter Kyle Martin, but struck out Young, got Hovey to foul out, and then picked off Martin.
In the third he walked two, but got a fielder’s choice, a fly out and a strikeout.
Medina got into two out trouble in the fifth when Hill doubled and Perez walked, but he fanned Harris to end the inning.
The Saints scored two in the sixth on a solo homer by Rodriguez, his fourth of the season, to make it 2-0. Morales followed with a double off the left field wall and Max Murphy drove him home with an RBI single to make it 3-0. Murphy has now hit safely in nine straight.
Medina’s only mistake came in the sixth against the leadoff batter Darvill who crushed a solo homer to right, his fourth of the season, cutting the Saints lead to 3-1.
The last bit of trouble Medina ran into came in the seventh when he walked the leadoff hitter Hovey. Medina got a strikeout and a fielder’s choice by Hill, who then stole second, but a strikeout of Perez ended the inning. Medina went 7.1 innings allowing one run on three hits while walking six and striking out seven as he threw 122 pitches.
Brady Shoemaker finished the game 1-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch and has now reached base safely in 27 consecutive games.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the five game series on Monday night at 7:00 p.m. The Saints send RHP Dustin Crenshaw (4-2, 3.96) to the mound against Goldeyes LHP Kevin McGovern (6-3, 4.35). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson