KANSAS CITY, KS (July 9, 2019) – The last time the St. Paul Saints were in CommunityAmerica Ballpark it didn’t end well. It was Game 4 of the American Association Championship Series and the Saints watched the Kansas City T-Bones celebrate a title. It wasn’t a playoff game on Tuesday night, but the Saints came out swinging in the first inning, putting up five runs on two home runs, as they went on to a 10-5 victory. The win improved the Saints to 32-18 at the halfway point of the season. They are 0.5 game out of first place and 3.5 games up on a playoff spot.
In the first Max Murphy led off the game with a single to center extending his hitting streak to 11 games. With one out Brady Shoemaker walked, extending his streak of reaching base safely to 29 consecutive games. John Silviano drilled a three-run homer to left, his second of the season, making it 3-0. With two outs Josh Allen singled to left and Devon Rodriguez followed with a two-run homer to left, his fifth of the season.
The Saints continued to add to the lead in the fifth when Dan Motl singled and moved to second on a Shoemaker single, extending his hitting streak to 10. Silviano knocked home Motl with a single to center giving the Saints a 6-0 lead. Silviano finished the night 2-6 with a home run, four RBI and a run scored.
In the sixth, Murphy drilled a solo homer to left, his league leading 17th of the season. The Saints have now hit a league leading 62 home runs on the year.
The Saints looked like they would put it on cruise control as Jake Matthys was masterful through five innings including working around two separate bases loaded one out jams without giving up a run. In the sixth, however, he walked the first two hitters he faced and then gave up a single to Shawn O’Malley to load the bases. Matthys departed for Karch Kowalczyk who fell behind in the count to Taylor Sparks before battling back and getting the count full. Sparks then drilled a grand slam home run to right, his second home run of the season, cutting the Saints lead to 7-4.
The Saints would get three of the four back in the next half inning due to control issues from Marc Magliaro. He walked leadoff hitter Jeremy Martinez and Allen followed with a double putting runners at second and third. Rodriguez was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. After Magliaro retired the next two, he walked the next three hitters: Murphy, Motl and Shoemaker to force in a run each time giving the Saints a 10-4 lead. Murphy finished the night 3-5 with a home run, two RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
The T-Bones would add a run in the eighth when O’Malley singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single from Mason Davis.
The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Wednesday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (2-1, 4.36) against T-Bones LHP Henry Owens (2-1, 5.40).