Saints Ride Right Arm of Jeff Shields To 3-1 Victory Over T-BonesST. PAUL, MN August 29, 2015
SAINTS RIDE RIGHT ARM OF SHIELDS TO 3-1 VICTORY OVER T-BONES
KANSAS CITY, KS (August 29, 2015) – Great pitching is going to be important in the playoffs if the St. Paul Saints hope to win their fifth championship in franchise history. It seems like the starters are primed and ready to go, getting another, quality start, as Jeff Shields was spectacular for 8.0 innings as the Saints beat the Kansas City T-Bones 3-1 on Saturday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Shields was in command all night long and rarely ran into any trouble. The lone run he gave up came in the third when Robby Kuzdale led off with an infield single to third. He stole second, was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI groundout by Starlin Rodriguez.
The only other inning Shields allowed a man past first came in the fifth when he got a little help from an outfield arm, Alonzo Harris. With two outs Kuzdale once again reached on an infield single to third and stole second. Sergio Leon singled to right-center and Kuzdale tried to score, but Harris threw him out at the plate by plenty to end the inning. Shields went 8.0 innings allowing one run on five hits while striking out one and improved to 13-2, becoming the third Saints pitcher to reach 13 wins this season, joining Kramer Sneed (14) and Dustin Crenshaw (13).
The Saints faced a familiar foe, former Saints pitcher Drew Gay. They were able to get to him early in the second when Ryan Lashley doubled and moved to third on a single by Nate Hanson. Joey Paciorek grounded into a double play that scored Lashley to make it 1-0.
With the game tied at one in the sixth Ian Gac belted a two out solo homer to left, his 10th of the season, to give the Saints a 2-1 lead. Gac became the sixth Saints player this year with 10 or more home runs, a franchise record. He joins Vinny DiFazio (16), Angelo Songco (15), Alonzo Harris (12), Willie Argo (12) and Mike Kvasnicka (10). The only other Saints team with five players with 10 or more home runs was the 1999 team. They hit 96 home runs, which is currently a franchise record. The Saints currently have 94 home runs.
The Saints got an insurance run in the seventh when Hanson led off with a two base error. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a two out single by Harris. Gay pitched well in the loss as he went 6.2 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits while walking one striking out five.
The same two teams play the finale of the four game series Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. The Saints are TBA while the T-Bones send RHP Dustin Loggins (3-6, 5.71) to the mound. The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.