Series preview: Kansas City T-Bones at St. Paul Saints
Angelo Songco swings during the Saints last homestand. (Photo courtesy St Paul Saints/Facebook)

Series preview: Kansas City T-Bones at St. Paul Saints

The T-Bones travel to CHS Field to face the Saints in an early-season match-up.

Stevie Larson

The 2016 American Association season is underway, and through one week of the season. There are no undefeated teams, as the last one, the Sioux Falls Canaries, lost on Tuesday night to the St. Paul Saints. The Saints, after also winning on Wednesday night, now head back to St. Paul to host the Kansas City T-Bones before heading on a 2-week road trip to Texas.

About the T-Bones

The T-Bones are entering the series with a season record of 3-4 after losing two games to the Lincoln Saltdogs. They are led on offense by Brandon Tierney, who is batting .391 with four runs batted in. Brett Wiley is a close second with a .389 batting average.

The pitching staff is led by Sean Furney, who has a 1-1 record with a 3.08 ERA and 11 strikeouts with just four walks. Casey Barnes is the next best pitcher, as he has gone 12 innings with a 1-0 record and a 3.75 ERA. He has six strikeouts and two walks. 

After this series, the T-Bones will take on the Gary Southshore Railcats in a four-game series at U.S. Steel Yard. They will then travel to Sioux City to face the explorers before returning to Kansas City to host Wichita and Joplin.

About the Saints

The Saints opened the season with a four-game sweep of the Railcats before they traveled to Sioux Falls and took two of three from the Canaries, including a 9-5 win on Wednesday night to give them a 6-1 record entering the series.

The Saints offense is led by Mike Gilmartin, who is batting .500 on the season, with three home runs and six runs batted in. Tony Thomas leads the team in RBI's with nine, followed by Alonzo Harris, who after a slow start to the season is batting .206 with two triples and a home run in 34 at-bats.

Mark Hamburger is the leader of the pitching staff, as he has made two starts, including a marvelous opening day performance. He has a 2-0 record with 11 strikeouts and a 2.45 ERA. Robert Coe is right behind him, as he also has two wins, with 10 strikeouts and a 2.92 ERA. 

After the series, the Saints will hit the road for a few weeks as they will travel to Joplin to face the Blasters before heading to Texas for a two-week stint. 

Around the league

The Saints sit at the top of the North division with their 6-1 record while the Canaries are right behind with a 5-2 record. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are 1.5 games back of the Saints while the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks are three games behind the Saints.

In the Central division, the Lincoln Saltdogs are on top with a 5-2 record. The T-Bones are in second with a 3-4 record, followed by the Railcats, who are sitting at 2-5. The Sioux City Explorers, who ran away with the division last year, are sitting in the bottom of the division with a 1-6 record, four games behind the Saltdogs.

The Joplin Blaster are holding a small lead in the South division, as their 4-2 record puts them just half a game ahead of the Texas Airhogs. The Laredo Lemurs are two games back, while the Wichita Wingnuts, who won the division last season, are at the bottom with a 1-5 record.