Saints Walked-Off in Gary, 3-2
The St. Paul Saints are all too familiar with the difficulty of the U.S. Steel Yard, where offenses go to die. On Friday night, the Saints offense managed just three hits and saw their nine-game winning streak end at the hands of the Gary SouthShore RailCats 3-2. The loss drops the Saints to 56-34 on the season. They fall 3.5 games behind the first place Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and their lead for the second playoff spot drops to 2.0 games over the Chicago Dogs.
With the game tied at two and one out in the ninth Andy DeJesus singled off of Mike Devine. Marcus Mooney was then hit by a pitch putting runners at first and second. The Saints went to their bullpen for lefty Chris Lee. He walked Abel Arocho to load the bases. Randy Santiesteban then lined the game winning single to left-center.
The Saints took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Dan Motl singled to left-center. He was sacrificed to second by Michael Lang and scored on an RBI double from Brady Shoemaker.
In the fifth the RailCats tied the game when Daniel Gardner led off with a walk. Andy DeJesus then hit a grounder to second that Josh Allen fielded, but his throw to second forced shortstop Blake Schmit to jump out and catch it and he fell onto the base to make sure he got the out. With two outs, Arocho walked and Santiesteban singled to center scoring DeJesus.
The RailCats took the lead in the sixth when Hayden Schilling was hit by a pitch with one out. Schilling stole second and, with two outs, DeJesus knocked him home with a single to right.
The Saints tied it up in the seventh on a bizarre play. With two outs Motl was hit by a pitch and then stole second. Michael Lang grounded one wide of first that was backhanded by Santiesteban and his throw to the pitcher covering first was a little late. During the brief argument by the pitcher Jack Alkire, Motl raced from third and scored.
The Saints return home on Saturday to begin a four-game series with the Chicago Dogs at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (7-3, 3.91) to the mound against Dogs LHP D.J. Snelten (6-3, 3.40). It is Zombie Night presented by ValleyScare. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities.