GARY, IN (August 3, 2013) – If the St. Paul Saints fail to make the 2013 playoffs they will look no further than their struggles at U.S. Steel Yard against the Gary SouthShore Railcats. They lost for the sixth consecutive time this year at U.S. Steel Yard, and nine in a row dating back to last season, 3-2 on Saturday evening. They now trail the Railcats by 5.5 game in the Wild Card with 28 game left in the season.
The Railcats jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Brian Kolb led off with a single. He advanced to third on a single by Drew Martinez. With one out Nick Liles singled off the leg of Saints pitcher Mark Hamburger. The ball ricocheted towards third baseman Joey Becker. His throw to first glanced off the glove of first baseman Ole Sheldon which allowed Kolb to score.
The game remained that way until the sixth when the first three hitters all got hits off of Hamburger. Ryan Babineau led off with a single. He moved to third on a double by Christian Vitters and both runners scored on a Kolb single to make it 3-0. Hamburger lasted 7.0 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on 11 hits while walking two and striking out four while pitching on three days rest.
The Saints couldn’t figure out Railcats starter Stephen Hiscock after the first inning. Adam Frost and Joey Becker each singled to begin the first. The single by Frost extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Hiscock got the next three Saints to fly out to end the inning. That began a string of 13 in a row retired by Hiscock.
The Saints finally got on the board in the seventh when Ole Sheldon led off with a solo homer to left, his seventh of the season, to make it 3-1. Hiscock then walked Jose Hernandez and Kyle Lindquist came into the game to take over for Hiscock. With two outs Frost doubled home Hernandez to get the Saints within one. Becker, however, struck out to end the inning.
The Saints couldn’t do anything else offensively over the final two innings as Ian Durham and Marco Gonzalez each pitched a perfect inning of relief.
The same two teams meet Sunday afternoon at 2:10 p.m. in the finale of the three game series at U.S. Steel Yard. The Saints are TBA and the Railcats send RHP Billy Spottiswood (4-1, 3.62).
GARY, IN (August 4, 2013) – The St. Paul Saints won’t have to come back to U.S. Steel Yard the rest of the season. Their seven losses this season in seven games may be enough to knock them out of any chance at the playoffs as they were swept by the Gary SouthShore Railcats on Sunday afternoon in a 7-3 loss.
The Saints never led in the series and gave up all seven runs with two outs. They got behind big early as the Railcats put up five runs in the second inning. Drew Gay, who pitched for Aurora (IL) University about an hour and a half from U.S. Steel Yard had a homecoming he would like to forget. After pitching around back-to-back walks to lead off the first, he wasn’t as fortunate in the second. With one out Gay walked Drew Martinez. Back-to-back singles by Zac Mitchell and Nick Liles loaded the bases. After striking out Adam Klein for the second out, Gay walked Mike Massaro to force in a run and give the Railcats a 1-0 lead. Brian Kolb’s bases clearing double made it 4-0. Gay then walked Maddox and was pulled from the game. Reliever Dylan Thomas didn’t fare much better in the first two batters he faced, walking Christian Vitters to load the bases and forcing in a run with a bases loaded walk to Cristian Guerrero to make it 5-0. Gay lasted 1.2 innings allowing five runs on three hits while walking five and striking out one. The Saints walked seven hitters in the game.
The Saints offense capitalized on a gift in the fourth inning to make things interesting. Joey Becker led off with a single. Brad Boyer then hit a comebacker, but pitcher Billy Spottiswood threw the ball into centerfield allowing Becker to head to third. Willie Cabrera made it 5-1 with an RBI double. Brandon Tripp’s RBI single made it 5-2 and Ole Sheldon made it 5-3 with a sacrifice fly. That would be as close as the Saints would get.
In the fourth Kolb led off with a single With one out Vitters singled him to second and with two outs Martinez’ RBI single made it 6-3 Railcats.
The final run for the Railcats came in the seventh when, with two outs, Massaro hit a fly ball that went over the leaping and diving center fielder, Jose Hernandez, and rolled to the wall. Massaro raced around the bases for an inside the park home run, his first homer of the season.
The Saints are now 6.5 games out of the Wild Card and 8.5 out of the North Division with 27 games remaining in the season.
The Saints have Monday off before heading to Newman Outdoor Field to take on the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in a three game series beginning Tuesday at 7:02 p.m. The Saints send RHP Billy Soule (2-0, 6.88) to the mound against RedHawks LHP Jake Laber (5-5, 3.42).