KANSAS CITY, KS (July 26, 2012) – Hits, who needs hits? Not the St. Paul Saints who managed two infield singles, yet took advantage of the Kansas City T-Bones defense in a 3-0 win on Thursday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
The losing pitcher on the night, Josh Rainwater, tossed a complete game, retired 15 men in a row at one point, walked just one, but didn’t get the support he needed from his defense.
The winning pitcher, the Saints Robert Coe, was equally as dominant throwing on just three days rest, gave up just two singles, two doubles and never allowed more than one runner to reach base at anytime in going 6.2 scoreless innings to pick up his eighth win of the season.
In the second the Saints got on the board when Jose Hernandez hit a weak tapper to third and Enrique Cruz charged, tried to bare hand the ball, but came up empty. Hernandez stole second and Tanner Townsend followed with a ground ball to short. Hernandez took off on the grounder and shortstop Devin Goodwin threw to third, but Cruz didn’t get over to the bag and Hernandez slip past the tag. Miles Durham then came up and hit a grounder to Goodwin at short, who elected to take the ball to the bag instead of flipping it to his second baseman and his throw to first wasn’t in time which allowed Hernandez to scored to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. The three consecutive fielder’s choices to end the inning started a string of 15 in a row retired by Rainwater.
In the seventh the Saints ended that string when Ole Sheldon led off with a walk. Ronnie Bourquin followed with a hot smash to short that went off Goodwin’s glove for an error. With runners at first and second Hernandez sacrificed the runners over. With the infield in Tanner Townsend hit a grounder to second, Justin Bass backed up on it and elected to throw home, but his throw wasn’t in time allowing Sheldon to score making it 2-0. With runners at the corners and one out Durham hit a perfect double play ball to short, Goodwin flipped to Bass covering second for the second out, but Bass’ throw to first went awry allowing Bourquin to score. Rainwater threw the complete game allowing three runs (one earned) on two hits while walking one and striking out four. The only other Saints hit was Adam Frost’s infield single to third to start the game.
Coe never looked like he was in trouble for the Saints. He allowed a two out single in the second and followed that with a walk, but he got Goodwin to fly out to end the inning.
In the fourth Coe gave up a two-out single to Trevor Coleman, but got Enrique Cruz to foul out.
In the sixth Goodwin doubled to left, but Coe got Gus Milner to pop out and Bass to ground out to end the inning.
Coe’s final inning was the seventh when he gave up a one out double to Cruz and got Hunter Mense to ground out to first. Coe left the game for Chris Odegaard who struck out Goodwin to end the inning. Coe went 6.2 innings allowing four hits while walking one and striking out five.
Kyle Carr pitched a perfect eighth inning for the Saints and Dustin Klabunde, pitching for the third straight night, picked up his ninth save of the season by tossing a scoreless ninth, his second save in as many nights.
The Saints now head home for a seven game homestand which begins with a three game series against Quebec les Capitales on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Todd Mathison (1-1, 7.39) to the mound. It is Around the World in 11 Days presented by U7 Neighborhood & Development Center. It’s also the Gold Medal Game between the USA (Saints) and Canada (les Capitales) with post-game fireworks presented by Xcel Energy Center.