The Kansas City T-Bones used a four-run ninth inning to defeat the St. Paul Saints on Saturday night in front of 7,220 fans at CHS Field.
Kansas City strikes first
Newly acquired Cody Scarpetta got the start for the Saints, and he pitched well, as he gave up just one home run, which came courtesy of Cole Leonida in the fourth inning to give the T-Bones a 1-0 lead.
The Saints responded in the fifth inning, as Tanner Vavra led off with a single, and advanced to second when Sam Maus hit a sacrifice bunt. After a wild pitch moved him to third, he scored on a single to right field from catcher Aaron Gretz. A few batters later Breeland Almadova singled, moving Gretz to second. Nate Hanson followed with an RBI double to put St. Paul up 2-1.
Each team scores one in the sixth
Each team picked up one run in the sixth, with the T-Bones’ Anthony Gallas reaching on an error by shortstop Tony Thomas. He advanced to third when Tyler Massey singled, although Massey was thrown out at second trying to stretch it into a double. A couple of batters later, Leonida singled to score Massey and tie the game.
The Saints responded in their half of the inning, as Willie Argo led off with a double to left field. After Vavra grounded out and Maus was hit by a pitch, Gretz stepped up to the plate and singled to right field to score Argo and give the Saints the lead back.
The Saints bullpen was able to hold the lead, as after Scarpetta departed Alec Crawford and Cody Wheeler each worked a scoreless outing. The Saints added an insurance run in the eighth when Maus led off with a single. Gretz sacrificed him over, followed by back-to-back walks by Alonzo Harris and Almadova to load the bases for Hanson, who hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Maus and giving the Saints a two-run lead.
Ninth inning dooms the Saints
Manager George Tsamis brought in closer Ryan Rodebaugh to save the game, but his outing did not go as planned. He got the first out, as Christian Torres grounded out, but after that, the wheels came off. Brett Wiley drew a walk, followed by a single from Vladamir Frias. Jake Blackwood flew out to left for the second out, then stepped up Gallas, who hit a fly ball to right field which should have been the final out, but Almadova dropped the ball, allowing two runs to score and tying the game.
The next batter, Massey, hit a two-run home run that gave the T-Bones the lead and sent the game to the bottom of the ninth. In the bottom of the inning, the Saints got a leadoff single from Argo, but the bottom of the order was unable to get anything, and the T-Bones took home a 6-4 win.
- Scarpetta was added just before game time, and to make room the Saints placed Mike Gilmartin on the disabled list. Tsamis said after the game the Scarpetta would make his next start, then they would determine what the next move would be.
- Shortstop Tony Thomas is off to a hot start, as he is batting .405 to start the season, and has a nine-game hitting streak to boot. He will look to extend that to ten games on Sunday afternoon.
- The T-Bones and Saints will play the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon as the Saints will send Mark Hamburger to the mound while Kansas City will counter with Casey Barnes. After the game, the Saints will embark on their longest road trip of the season, a two-week trek through Joplin and Texas.