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Getting to CHS Field

Josh Allen Hits Walk-Off Grand Slam In 9-7 Win Over T-Bones

ST. PAUL, MN July 16, 2019

The St. Paul Saints were down to their final out against a closer that hadn’t given up a run all season.  Josh Allen, the St. Paul Saints All-Star second baseman who entered play tied for second in the league in home runs with 13, unloaded on an 0-1 pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and the Saints down two for a walk-off grand slam.  The Saints won 9-7 over the Kansas City T-Bones on Tuesday night at CHS Field in front of 7,624.

          With the Saints down 7-5 in the ninth Carlos Diaz took the mound for the T-Bones.  He hadn’t allowed a run, and just three hits, in 11.0 innings of work this season.  He started the inning by walking the leadoff hitter, Troy Alexander.  Dan Motl followed with a single to left putting runners at first and second.  After a strikeout of Chris Baker, Brady Shoemaker walked to load the bases.  Diaz settled down and struck out John Silviano and up stepped Allen.  He fouled the first pitch off and then turned around a fastball over the left field wall, his 14th home run of the season, for the walk-off grand slam.  It was the third grand slam of the season for the Saints, their most since 2014 when they hit four.

          The game didn’t start off well for the Saints as starting pitcher Tom Curtin lasted just 1.1 innings.  In the first the T-Bones got a one out double from Dylan Tice and Shawn O’Malley followed with a double of his own to make it 1-0 T-Bones.  After Chris Collabello was hit by a pitch, Casey Gillaspie made it 2-0 with an RBI double.

          The Saints responded in the bottom of the inning when Dan Motl led off by being hit by a pitch.  With two outs John Silviano singled to center putting runners at first and third.  Allen added an RBI single to make it 2-1.  Jeremy Martinez doubled home Silviano and Allen was called out trying to score as the game was tied at two.

          In the second, the T-Bones continued to hit Curtin.  Taylor Sparks led off with a single to left.  With one out Mason Davis doubled him to third and Curtin was pulled from the game.  Jordan Jess came on in relief and balked in a run to make it 3-2.  An RBI single by Tice, who finished the night 4-5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored, pushed the T-Bones lead to 4-2.  Curitn went 1.1 innings allowing four runs on five hits.  Jess went 2.2 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking one and striking out two.

          The Saints offense once again answered in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs to tie it.  Chesny Young led off with a single to center.  He moved to second on a wild pitch.  With two outs Motl walked putting runners at the corners.  Motl stole second and Chris Baker lined a two-run single into left tying the game at four.

          It stayed that way until the seventh when the T-Bones got, up to that point, the biggest bases loaded hit of the game.  Karch Kowalczyk, who pitched well out of the bullpen for two innings, ran into trouble in his third inning of work.  Tice led off with a double and, with two outs, Gillaspie walked.  Mike Devine came into the ballgame and he walked Daniel Nava to load the bases.  Christian Correa cleared the bases with a double over the head of a diving Motl in center giving the T-Bones a 7-4 lead.

          The Saints got one back in the bottom of the inning when Motl doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball to cut the deficit to two at 7-5.

          The comeback win is the third for the Saints when trailing entering the ninth.  Eight of their nine runs scored came with two outs.

          The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Wednesday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Dustin Crenshaw (4-4, 5.12) to the mound against T-Bones RHP Dylan Baker (1-2, 4.71).  It is the 8th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz presented by Coldwell Banker Burnet.  The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities area.