Gary Southshore Railcats edge St. Paul Saints 5-4, take series
The Saints warm up during the game. (Stevie Larson/VAVEL USA)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Gary Southshore Railcats defeated the St. Paul Saints 5-4 on Sunday afternoon at CHS Field to take the three-game series. It was the second straight night that the game between the two teams was decided by just one run, as the Railcats defeated the Saints 4-3 on Saturday night.

Chaska native John Straka got the start for the Saints and had a hard time getting comfortable, as he gave up a single run in each of the first three innings before settling into a rhythm. In the first inning, the first two batters for the Railcats were retired, but the third batter, Colin Willis, hit a solo home run to right field to put the visitors up 1-0.

They got a second run in the top of the second inning when Kris Goodman hit a leadoff home run, also to right field, to extend the lead to 2-0. The Railcats nearly got another run in the inning, as Ryan Fitzgerald hit a one-out single, but he was thrown out at the plate a few batters later trying to go from second to home on a single to right field.

The Saints responded in the bottom of the second inning when Anthony Gallas led off with a single, which set up a home run from Tony Thomas that cleared the home run porch in right field. That tied the game, but it wouldn’t be the last time that the game was tied.

In the third inning, the Railcats again got a single run, this one not coming on a home run. Reggie Wilson hit a one-out single to center field and proceeded to steal second base. He scored when Frank Martinez doubled to right field to extend the lead to 3-0 in favor of the visitors.

The Saints again tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, starting with Tanner Vavra reaching on a fielder’s choice. He advanced to third on a single from Nate Hanson and scored when the right fielder overthrew the ball back into the infield, allowing Vavra to score and moving Hanson to second base. The inning ended when Brady Shoemaker grounded out to the shortstop.

The Railcats retook the lead in the top of the sixth when Goodman reached on an error by Hanson. He advanced to third on a double from James Alfonso and scored when Fitzgerald hit a sacrifice fly. That spelled the end of the outing for Straka, who pitched 5+ innings, giving up seven hits and four earned runs.

He was replaced by Ken Frosch, who worked his way out of the inning. The Saints again tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Anthony Gallas ripped a home run to right field. The Railcats took the lead for good in the eighth when Martinez led off with a single to center field and ended up scoring on an error by the right fielder to put them back up by one.

The Saints were unable to muster a ninth-inning rally against the Railcats closer Drasen Johnson, and they ended up falling by the 5-4 final score. It was the 15th loss of the season for the Saints, though they did keep their large lead in the division.

The Saints now hit the road, as they travel to Sioux City to face the Explorers. Game one of the series is Monday night, and the Saints will have RHP Jason Creasy (4-3, 5.14) on the mound, while the Explorers are TBA. The Railcats, meanwhile, now travel up north, as they will take on the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. That series also starts Monday. The Railcats are TBA, while the Redhawks will send LHP Tyler Alexander (1-4, 2.52) to the mound.  

Quick Hits

- The Saints lost their closer Seth Rosin this weekend, as his contract was purchased by the San Francisco Giants of the National League on Saturday. He has been assigned to their Double-A team in Richmond, Virginia. So far this season, Rosin had nine saves and allowed just one run, which was unearned, giving him an ERA of 0.00.

- Prior to Sunday’s game, the Saints activated Robert Coe from the disabled list. Coe has yet to make an appearance this season, as he has been dealing with an injury all season. Coe, who has been nicknamed The Sheriff, was 11-3 last season for the Saints, compiling an ERA of 4.54.

Game Summary

GAR 111 001 010 – 5 9 1

 STP 020 011 000 – 4 9 1

Win – Alex Gunn (3-3)

Loss – Vinny Nittoli (1-1)

Save – Drasen Johnson (4)

Player of the game – Kris Goodman (3-4, home run, two runs scored)