GARY, IN (August 28, 2012) – Wanted: St. Paul Saints offense. If found please return to manager George Tsamis. The Saints found their offense and it happened to be in the most pitcher friendly ballpark in the American Association, U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, IN. The Saints pounded out a season high 22 hits, two shy of their franchise record, and beat up the Gary SouthShore Railcats 13-6 on Tuesday. The Saints remained 3.0 games back of the Winnipeg Goldeyes for the Wild Card, with six games left, after the Goldeyes defeated the Sioux City Explorers 5-3.
Two of the hottest pitchers in the league started the game. The Railcats Morgan Coombs had a 15.2 consecutive scoreless streak going while Kyle Ruwe had allowed just two runs (one earned) in his last 33.2 innings pitch. Naturally, the teams combined for 19 runs on 45 hits.
All nine Saints starters collected a hit with seven of the nine starters having multi-hit nights. Jim Rapoport, Ole Sheldon and Ronnie Bourquin all collected four hits while five different players had a multi-RBI night and four different players scored multi-runs.
The Saints ended Morgan Coombs scoreless streak in the first four batters of the game. Sheldon’s RBI double made it 1-0 and Bourquin drilled a three-run homer to right, his 11th of the season, to make it 4-0.
In the third the Saints collected three hits by Sheldon, Bourquin and an RBI double by Miles Durham to make it 5-0.
The Saints continued to tack on runs in the fourth when Rapoport singled, Adam Frost singled him to third and Willie Cabrera’s sac fly made it 6-0. Frost then stole second giving him 54 in his Saints career tying Brent Krause’s (2007-11) franchise record. After walks to Sheldon and Bourquin loaded the bases, Jose Hernandez gave the Saints an 8-0 lead with a two-run single.
The Saints made it 10-0 in the fifth when Rapoport hit a two-run homer to right, his fourth of the season. Rapoport scored four runs on the night tying a single game franchise record and becoming the 41st Saints player to do so.
Saints starter Ruwe has been brilliant against everyone, everywhere with the exception of U.S. Steel Yard. His only poor outing of the season came in Gary on August 3rd when he gave up seven runs in the sixth inning and gave up eight overall. His kryptonite continued to be the Railcats who scored four off him in the fifth and one in the sixth. Ruwe, who has saved the Saints so many times this season, was saved by the Saints offense tonight and lasted a season low 5.1 innings allowing five runs on 11 hits while walking one, but still earned the victory.
The same two teams meet on Wednesday night at U.S. Steel Yard in the second game of the four game series at 7:10 p.m. The Saints send LHP Brian Gump (0-0, 0.00) to the mound against Railcats RHP Will Krout (3-5, 3.76).