ST. PAUL, Minn. -- For the second straight game, the St. Paul Saints lost after giving up double-digit runs to their opponents, as the Kansas City T-Bones put up 10 runs on Friday night in the first of a three-game series. Kevin Keyes led the T-Bones by going 2-5 with two three-run home runs.
Kansas City strikes first
The T-Bones wasted no time in scoring, as Omar Garcia drew a walk to start the game. Marcus Lemon followed with a ground ball to second baseman Tony Thomas, who threw to second in an attempt to get Garcia, but he beat the throw, putting two runners on for Keyes, who blasted a three-run home run to left-center field to put the visitors up 3-0.
The Saints got two of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a leadoff home run from Danny Oh to cut the lead to 3-1, then a two-out double from Brady Shoemaker kept the inning alive for Thomas, who hit a pop up to the shortstop, who misplayed the ball, allowing it to fall in for a hit, and making it just a one-run lead for Kansas City. T-Bones pitcher Gabe Perez was able to get Anthony Gallas to strike out for the final out of the inning to avoid any further scoring.
The team's trade runs in the third
Kansas City tacked on another run in the third inning when Zach Walters reached on a dropped third strike with two outs. He advanced to second when Chase McDonald singled and scored when Joe Jackson singled to center field to get back one of the runs that they Saints got in the bottom of the first.
The Saints had a scoring chance in the bottom of the inning, as Oh led off with a double, and advanced to third when Nate Hanson singled to right field. Perez was able to bear down and get two straight strikeouts of Brady Shoemaker and Thomas to end the inning with the score still 4-2 in favor of Kansas City.
T-Bones get three more in the fifth
The T-Bones tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth, and it started when Walters led off with a homerun to right field to lead off the inning. They kept up the outburst, as McDonald followed with a single to left field, which was followed by two straight walks to load the bases for Leo Rojas, who singled to center field to score both McDonald and Jackson and bump the lead to 7-2. The inning ended with a flyout to center field and a ground ball double play, though it did spell the end of the night for Straka, as Benji Waite came in for the sixth inning.
Waite was able to throw a fairly clean inning, with the only blemish being Lemon, who led off the inning by reaching on an error by the shortstop, but he was stranded as first, as Waite struck out Keyes, and got a flyout and groundout to end the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, the Saints picked up another run on a leadoff home run from Shoemaker, but were unable to add any other runs despite getting a double and a walk, and chasing the T-Bones’ starting pitcher from the game.
St. Paul got another run in the seventh when Breland Almadova led off with a home run to right field, but again they were unable to scratch across any more runs, despite a hit by pitch and a double.
The T-Bones extended their lead in the top of the eighth thanks to a leadoff walk to Eddie Newton, and a one-out walk to Lemon which set up Keyes for his second three-run home run of the night to make it a 10-4 T-Bones lead. The inning mercifully ended when McDonald flew out to center field.
St. Paul scratched across a run in the bottom of the inning when Caldwell drew a one-out walk, advanced to third when Jon Kristoffersen singled and scored when Oh singled to right field to cut the lead to five runs.
After Corey Williams worked a clean top of the ninth, the Saints stepped up to the plate needing a large rally. The first batter was Hanson, who hit a sharp ground ball to second base for the first out. Shoemaker then stepped up to the plate and flew out to right field for the second out. Thomas was the last hope for the Saints, but he grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
- The Saints left nine runners on base, with five of them being left in scoring position. This was also the second straight game that the Saints gave up 10 or more runs to their opponents.
- Seven of the Saints nine starters got a hit, with the only exceptions being Colwell and Caldwell, who each went 0-3 with a walk.
- Game two of the series is Saturday night when the Saints will send RHP Jason Creasy (0-1, 19.29 ERA) to the mound. The T-Bones will counter with RHP Chris Perry (0-0, 1.80 ERA). First pitch is 7:05 p.m. CT.
Win - Gabe Perez (1-0)
Loss - John Straka (1-1)
Save - None
Player of the Game - Kevin Keyes (2-5, two 3-run home runs, six runs batted in)
KC - 301 030 030 -- 10 9 0
STP - 200 001 100 -- 5 12 1