09/01/2017 10:33 PM -
KANSAS CITY, Kan.- Gabe Perez tossed seven solid innings and the Kansas City T-Bones (55-42) used a pair of fifth inning doubles to take game one of their final series of the season 4-1 over the St. Paul Saints (47-50) Friday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. The win moved the T-Bones back into a tie with Fargo-Moorhead for the final playoff spot in the American Association with three games to play and sent 5,015 fans home happy.
The Saints had other plans early on by taking a 1-0 lead in the third inning. With one out Tim Colwell worked a walk off Perez then stole second base. After a fly out to center by Ben Buerkle of St.Paul, Brady Shoemaker also walked to put runners at first and second. Dan Johnson then hit an RBI single to make it 1-0 St. Paul.
Jeff Malm got the start for the Saints and was in command early. He did not allow a hit until the fifth and only one base runner reached in the first four innings on an error. But in the home half of the fifth Kansas City got it going. Jordan Edgerton singled to start the inning then was forced out at second on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Niko Vasquez. Chantz Mack and Kyle Petty each worked a walk to load the bases.
Zane Chavez launched a double off the wall in left center just missing a home run as the ball bounced off the top of the fence in front of the bull pen. That hit would score two and make it a 2-1 lead for Kansas City. With Tucker Pennell at the plate Malm would uncork a wild pitch to score Petty from third and it was 3-1 T-Bones. Cedric Hunter, who was named Player of the Month of August earlier in the day, hit the second double of the inning off the lefty to score another run to give Kansas City a 4-1 lead.
Gabe Perez (8-6) settled down after he gave up the third inning run and would work seven innings getting the win. He would strike out a personal season high nine batters, while scattering five hits in the game. Grant Sides worked a 1-2-3 ninth, while Cody Winiarski notched his 20th save. Malm dropped to (1-3) for the Saints.
The win for Kansas City and a loss by Fargo-Moorhead tied the two clubs for the Wild Card spot in the American Association playoffs with three games to play. Lincoln beat Gary giving Kansas City a one game lead over Gary and securing the Central Division for Lincoln.
The T-Bones and Saints will play game two of their four game series Saturday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. RHP Alex Blackford (1-2, 3.30) will take the hill for the T-Bones to face RHP Jason Hoppe (0-3, 6.62) for St. Paul. For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the T-Bones Media Relations Department at (817) 739-3693. Tickets are available online, by calling (913) 328-5618 or by visiting in person the Providence Medical Center Box Office.