Tony Thomas Sends St. Paul Saints to Fourth Straight Win, 6-4
A night after the St. Paul Saints needed 12-innings to down the Gary Southshore RailCats, they earned the victory in regulation, thanks to Tony Thomas, who had 3-hits and drove in 3. That helped to propel the Saints to the 6-2 victory, giving them their fourth straight victory. Anthony Gallas scored 2-runs and Jeff Malm earned his first victory of the season.
After a scoreless first two frames, the Saints took the lead in the top of the third. Jeff McKenzie retired the first two batters of the inning, but JJ Gould kept the inning alive with a double. Nate Hanson then followed with a double down the line in left that scored Gould to make it 1-0. Anthony Galls then grounded to the third baseman, who booted the ball. Hanson scored and St. Paul was up by two.
The RailCats got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning. With one down, Alex Crosby singled and moved to second on a ground out. Colin Willis then grounded to short but was able to beat the throw to first to put runners at the corners with two down. Kris Goodman then lined the second pitch from Connor Little up the middle for a base hit to score Crosby and make it 2-1.
An inning later, Gary Southshore tied the score. With two down, Andy DeJesus doubled into left field. He scored on a base hit by Chase Harris to make the score 2-2.
The Saints responded right away, scoring two-runs in the fifth to retake the lead for good. Tim Colwell led off the inning by reaching on a bunt single. He stole second and reached third on an error. With two down, Gallas doubled into left field, easily scoring Colwell to give St. Paul the lead. Tony Thomas followed with a base hit that brought Gallas home and it was 4-2.
In the seventh, the St. Paul Saints extended their lead to four. With one down, Gallas walked and Thomas followed with his 14th homer of the season, a shot over the left field wall in U.S.Steel Yard to make it 6-2.
Jeff Malm (1-1) had come in the fourth and was absolutely brilliant out of the bullpen for St. Paul. He allowed just a hit and a walk in 3.1-innings pitched to earn the victory.
Ken Frosch took over in the eighth, and the RailCats would claw their way back into the game. Willis singled to start the inning and moved to third when Goodman doubled into right. Frank Martinez grounded out to bring home Willis and it was 6-3. Ryan Fitzgerald flew out with Goodman taking third on the play. That brought a call to the bullpen for Vinny Nittoli. An error allowed Goodman to score and put runners at first and second with two downs. A ground out ended the threat to keep it 6-4. That would be the final. That earned Nittoli his second save of the year.
Tony Thomas was 3-5 with a run and 3-RBI. Tim Colwell and Mitch Delfino each had 2-hits. Kris Goodman was 2-5 with a run and an RBI. and Colin Willis and Chase Harris each had 2-hits.
The Saints go for the sweep of this three-game series tomorrow. The Saints send RHP Matt Schuld (0-1, 6.75) to the mound against Railcats LHP Alex Gunn (6-4, 3.75). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10.
By Robert Pannier