Saints Staff One-Hits Milkmen, 2-0
The St. Paul Saints have been carving together a rotation on days they’ve needed a fifth starter. Prior to the game on Tuesday night, at Routine Field, the Saints signed left-hander John Kilichowski, who hadn’t pitched since 2018. Kilichowski, Karch Kowalczyk, Ken Frosch and Mike Devine combined on a one-hit shutout of the Milwaukee Milkmen in a 2-0 win. The victory improves the Saints to 42-26 on the season.
Kilichowski, who spent his first three years in professional baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, started his night by walking the leadoff batter, Riley Pittman. Kilichowski immediately got a double play off the bat of Garrett Copeland before walking Manuel Boscan. The inning ended when Kilichowski got Adam Brett Walker to ground out.
Kilichowski retired the side in the second and got the first two hitters in the third before walking Pittman. A strikeout of Copeland ended the inning. Kilichowski went 3.0 hitless, shutout innings walking three and striking out three.
The Saints got the only run they needed in the top of the third when Michael Lang tripled to left-center and scored on Brady Shoemaker’s groundout making it 1-0 Saints.
Karch Kowalczyk took over in the fourth and the first batter he faced was Boscan, who dropped down a bunt about 30 feet in front of the plate. Kowalczyk charged and fielded the bunt, but the ball slipped out of his glove for an infield single. Boscan, however, was erased trying to steal second. With two outs Dan Ward walked, but Kowalczyk got Jose Rosario to fly out to end the inning. Kowalczyk went 2.0 shutout innings allowing one hit while walking one and striking out one.
In the sixth, lefty Ken Frosch took over and walked the leadoff hitter Pittman. Frosch retired the next three to end the inning.
In the seven Frosch walked the leadoff man again, but got a double play ball and then a ground out to end the inning.
In the top of the eighth the Saints added an insurance run without a hit. Shoemaker and John Silviano led off with back-to-back walks. Josh Allen dropped down a bunt that was fielded by the pitcher Jake Joyce. He spun and threw to third, but wound up throwing it away which allowed Shoemaker to score making it 2-0 Saints.
Frosch finished his night with a perfect eighth. He went a career tying high 3.0 innings, without allowing a hit, while walking two and striking out two.
Mike Devine finished off the night, with closer Todd Van Steensel on the disabled list, with a perfect ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (6-1, 2.82) to the mound against Milkmen LHP T.J. House (7-5, 4.19). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson