Getting to CHS Field

Saints Come Up Short In 8-5 Loss To T-Bones

ST. PAUL, MN June 9, 2017

The little things are plaguing the St. Paul Saints this season during their losses.  On Friday night against the Kansas City T-Bones it was the inability to come through with clutch hits and Dustin Crenshaw, in his first start back with the Saints since 2015, having unusual control issues in an 8-5 loss at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.  The loss drops the Saints to 8-4 on the 13-game roadtrip and 14-8 on the season, a statistical tie with the Winnipeg Goldeyes, but percentage points behind them.


          Trailing 8-3 going into the ninth the Saints mounted a comeback and had the go ahead run at the plate.  Tim Colwell and Tony Caldwell led off the inning with walks.  Tanner Vavra hit a grounder to second that looked like a potential double play, but second baseman Patrick Brady couldn’t field the ball cleanly and his throw to second was late, loading the bases.  Grant Side, however, would strike out Danny Oh and Breland Almadova.  Nate Hanson got the Saints within three with a two-run single.  Cody Winiarski came on in relief and walked Jon Kristoffersen to load the bases.  Tony Thomas, however, struck out to end the game.


          The Saints jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, but it should have been more.  Oh led off the game against Calvin Drummond with a walk and Almadova followed with an infield single to third.  Hanson and Brady Shoemaker followed with back-to-back RBI singles which put runners at the corners with nobody out.  Hanson finished the night 2-4 with three RBI.  Drummond would strike out Thomas, but walk Anthony Gallas to load the bases.  Colwell, however, would strike out and Caldwell grounded out to end the inning.


          In the bottom of the first Crenshaw, who walked just seven in 137.0 innings with the Saints in 2015, walked the leadoff man Omar Garcia.  He stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Marcus Lemon.  Crenshaw would strike out Kevin Keyes, but Zach Walters found a hole to the right of the second baseman Thomas for an RBI single to make it 2-1.


          In the third Crenshaw, who had hit just 21 batters in 691.0 career innings, plunked the leadoff man in the inning Eddie Newton.  Garcia singled to right putting runners at first and second.  Lemon laid down a sacrifice bunt that the third baseman Hanson fielded, but his throw to first was in direct line with the sun and the second baseman Thomas, covering first, couldn’t see the ball.  The throw got by him and allowed Newton to score, tying the game at two, and put runners at second and third.  Keyes then hit a ground ball just down the first base line for a two-run double to give the  T-Bones a 4-2 lead.


          In the fifth Crenshaw, who once went 78.0 consecutive innings without a walk in 2015, walked the first two hitters in the inning.  Walters followed with a fly ball down the left field line that just cleared the 300 marker in left for a three-run homer, his fifth of the season, to make it 7-2.  For the second time in two nights the T-Bones hit back-to-back home runs when Joe Jackson deposited one over the right field wall, his third of the season, to make it 8-2.  Crenshaw went 6.0 innings allowing eight runs (seven earned) on six hits while walking three and striking out eight, tied for the second most in his career.


          The Saints had an opportunity to cut into the lead in the sixth when they loaded the bases with nobody out.  Thomas led off with a walk against Drummond, Gallas lined a single to left and Colwell bunted for a base hit.  Caldwell, however, grounded into a double play, which scored a run, and Vavra ended the inning by grounding out to second.