ST. PAUL, MN (July 7, 2013) – Saints fans continue to get their money’s worth when attending St. Paul Saints games at Midway Stadium this season. One night after Adam Frost sent a full house home happy with a game-winning single, Ole Sheldon beat out the relay throw on a potential double play to unleash a wild celebration once again as the Saints pulled out a wild 8-7 victory over the Kansas City T-Bones on Sunday afternoon in front of 4,057. The victory was the seventh consecutive home win for the Saints, tied for the sixth-longest streak in franchise history.
With the score knotted at seven in the bottom of the ninth Joey Becker, who finished 3-5 with three runs scored, led off with a triple into the right field power alley off of Chad Robinson. Becker has hit safely in a career high 10 games and has reached base safely in 20 straight. With two of the next three batters being lefties T-Bones manager Kenny Hook called on left-handed specialist Jose Jimenez to face Brad Boyer. Jimenez got Boyer to pop out on the infield for the first out. Jimenez intentionally walked Willie Cabrera to face another lefty in Brandon Tripp. Tripp was hit on the first pitch of the at bat to load the bases. Kansas City brought in Sean Toler, last night’s hard luck loser, to pitch to Ole Sheldon. On Toler’s first offering Sheldon hit a sharp groundball to the left side of the infield where shortstop Devin Goodwin made a nice backhand play to start a potential double play. However with Sheldon hustling down the line, the relay throw from second baseman Felix Molina was a split-second late and Becker crossed the plate with the winning run.
Just like Satuday night’s game, the reason there was a bottom of the ninth was a blown save by closer Matt Meyer. With the Saints leading 7-6 entering the frame Meyer retired the leadoff man Petey Paramore for the first out. Meyer then walked Kody Hightower and hit Joey Gathright to put the tying run in scoring position. After a flyout by Kennard Jones, Devin Goodwin singled to right to tie the score. Meyer rebounded by striking out slugger Matt Padgett looking, but the damage was done as Meyer blew his fifth save of the season and third in a row.
The T-Bones took a page out of St. Paul’s book by striking in the very first inning on an opposite field solo home run by Matt Padgett. Padgett finished the day 3-5 with a pair of RBI.
Kansas City added another run in the third, when Kennard Jones led off with a single and later scored on an RBI single by Kyle Nichols.
The Saints offense took awhile to get started against T-Bones starter Eric Gonzalez, but put up crooked numbers in the fourth and fifth to snatch away the lead. Becker led off the fourth with a double before Gonzalez issued free passes to both Boyer and Cabrera. Tripp followed with a single to trim the lead to 2-1. Two batters later Jose Hernandez also singled and the score was tied at two. Dwight Childs fielder’s choice ground out gave the Saints a 3-2 lead.
The offensive outpour continued in the fifth with Becker again acting as the spark. He led off with a double and, then after Boyer walked, scored on another double by Cabrera. With a pair of teammates on base Tripp extended the lead by driving a Gonzalez fastball over the batter’s eye in straight-away centerfield and the lead was 7-3. Tripp finished the afternoon 3-4 with four RBI and a run scored.
The T-Bones slowly worked their way back into the ballgame by scoring one run in the seventh off of Hugh Adams and two in the eight off of set-up man Mikey Mehlich.
Mike Koons made his first start of the season and did an admirable job of keeping the powerful T-Bones offense at bay. He worked 3.2 innings, giving up two runs on five hits while walking one. After Koons departed, Dustin Klabunde pitched two innings allowing a pair of runs.
The Saints will battle the T-Bones once again on Monday night at 7:05 p.m in game three of this four game series at Midway Stadium. RHP Anthony Claggett (5-1, 3.47) will go for the Saints, while it will be RHP Dustin Loggins (1-2,4.25) on the mound for Kansas City. The Saints will host a Salute to Dead Dances on Kevin Bacon’s birthday.