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Getting to CHS Field

Keys to the Game: Two Three-Run Homers As Saints Lose 10-5

ST. PAUL, MN May 26, 2017

The St. Paul Saints hit three long balls on Friday night, but so did the Kansas City T-Bones.  The difference were two three-run homers by T-Bones DH Kevin Keys as the Saints were doubled-up 10-5 on Friday night at CHS Field in front of 7,627.


          The damage began in the first when Omar Garcia led off the game with a walk.  Marcus Lemon then reached on a fielder’s choice when he hit a grounder to second baseman Tony Thomas, but his throw to second was a little late.  That’s when Keys smashed his first long ball of the night, and first of the season, to make it 3-0 T-Bones.


          The Saints, who outhit the T-Bones 12-8 on Friday night, answered with two of their own in the bottom of the inning.  Danny Oh, who had homered just twice in his 1140 career at bats, smashed a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the inning and make it 3-1.  With two outs Brady Shoemaker doubled and Thomas hit a pop up on the infield.  Shortstop Eddie Newton had the ball drop behind him and Shoemaker scored to make it 3-2.


          In the third, Saints starter John Straka looked like he was getting into a groove.  After retiring the side in order in the second and the first two in the third, he struck out Zach Walters, but the ball skipped away from catcher Tony Caldwell and Walters reached on the dropped third strike.  That proved costly as Chase McDonald singled and Joe Jackson knocked home Walters with a single to give the T-Bones a 4-2 lead.


          In the fifth Walters led off the inning for the T-Bones with a solo homer, his first of the year, to make it 5-2.  The T-Bones would load the bases on a single by McDonald and back-to-back walks to Jackson and Daniel Rockett.  An RBI single by Leo Rojas and a sacrifice fly from Newton gave the T-Bones a 7-2 lead.  Starke went 5.0 innings allowing seven runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out four.


          The Saints would inch closer on a solo homer by Brady Shoemaker, his third of the season, in the sixth, and a solo homer from Breland Almadova, his first, in the seventh, to get the Saints within 7-4.


          Keys, however, would come calling again in the eighth after reliever Corey Williams walked Newton and Lemon.  Keys then hit a fly ball to right that kept carrying for his second three-run homer of the game to make it 10-4.


          The Saints added one more run in the eighth when Caldwell walked and Jon Kristoffersen singled him to third.  Oh collected his second RBI on a single to right.  He finished the night 3-5 with a double, home run, two RBI and a run scored.


          The Saints have given up 26 runs in the last two games.  The last time they allowed back-to-back double-digit run games was August 23 & 24, 2016 against Wichita when they gave up 11 and 10 runs, respectively.  The last time they gave up 26 or more in back-to-back games was May 27 & 28, 2014 at Rockland when they gave up 29.


          The same two teams meet Saturday night at CHS Field in game two of the three game series at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Jason Creasy (0-1, 19.29) to the mound against T-Bones RHP Chris Perry (0-0, 1.80).  The Saints honor the first woman in professional baseball, Ila Borders, as the first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive an Ila Borders bobblehead.  The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on BOB FM.