GARY | The RailCats have spent the last week on the road and have the comforts of U.S. Steel Yard for 11 straight games.
This is the longest homestand in team history and the eighth time the RailCats have hosted three consecutive series.
The 'Cats are also in the middle of 18 straight games in 17 days without a break.
The road trip didn't come without casualties. The 'Cats had to put starter Will Krout on the disabled list, retroactive to his June 18 start, a RailCats' win but a no decision for the righty. They've picked up reliever Boomer Potts in his place and James Adkins, a reliever with starter experience, will take Krout's spot in the rotation.
As reported in this blog on June 12, the team also signed Billy Spottiswood last week, a righty reliever. He pitched 4 2/3 on June 18 at Wichita, allowing six hits and two earned runs. He has one game as a starter, one of the day-night double-headers, and one as a reliever.
St. Paul Saints (17-15)
SS Adam Frost
3B Joey Becker
2B Brad Boyer (yes, former RailCat Brad Boyer)
DH Willie Cabrera
RF Brandon Tripp
CF Jose Hernandez
LF Jordan Tripp
C Dwight Childs
1B Dan Kaczrowski
RHP Wes Roemer (3-3, 6-29 ERA)
DH Adam Klein (yup, DH)
CF Mike Massaro
RF Cristian Guerrero
C Ryan Babineau
1B Steve Liddle
3B Brian Kolb
LF Drew Martinez
SS Zac Mitchell
2B Chase Tucker
RHP Morgan Coombs (2-0, 5.79 ERA)
Adam Frost strikes out swinging and Joey Becker hit a bloop single into shallow right field. Brad Boyer hits a single that knocks off the lip of the edge of the grass to score Becker. Willie Cabrera grounds into a double play. Mid 1st inning: Saints 1, RailCats 0
Adam Klein doubles to open the inning. He's a DH today because manager Greg Tagert said he spent so much time in the heat of the Wichita outfield (all turf) that he wanted to give his everyday outfielders a chance to rest. Mike Massaro and Cristian Guerrero each fly out to center. Ryan Babineau grounds to short, but the throw to first is over the first baseman's head, scoring Klein. Steve Liddle grounds to third, but a fielder's choice to first keeps the inning alive. Brian Kolb pops out foul behind the plate. End 1st inning: RailCats 1, Saints 1
Brandon Tripp flies out to first base. Jose Hernandez is issued a full-count walk. Jordan Tripp pops out to short and Dwight Childs swings and misses at a third strike. Mid 2nd inning: RailCats 1, Saints 1
Drew Martinez leads off with a single. He's sacrificed to second by Zac Mitchell and Chase Tucker grounds out to short. Adam Klein is walked on a full count. Mike Massaro flies out to center, caught on the run by Jose Hernandez. End 2nd inning: RailCats 1, Saints 1
Dan Kaczrowski walks and Adam Frost strikes out swinging. Joey Becker singles and Brad Boyer is walked to load the bases. Willie Cabrera singles scoring Kaczrowski and Becker. Boyer and Cabrera are at second and third on an error by Drew Martinez in left. Brandon Tripp pops out foul to third base. Jose Hernandez flies out to left. Mid 3rd inning: Saints 3, RailCats 1
Cristian Guerrero strikes out on three pitches. Ryan Babineau singles to put a runner on. Steve Liddle and Brian Kolb fly out to the outfield. End 3rd inning: Saints 3, RailCats 1
Jordan Tripp strikes out swinging, that's three of four lead-off strikeouts issued by Morgan Coombs. Dwight Childs is walked and Dan Kaczrowski singles, hitting Childs for the out. Adam Frost pops out foul to third base. Mid 4th inning: Saints 3, RailCats 1
Drew Martinez singles. Zach Mitchell grounds out to first, moving Martinez to second. Chase Tucker hits a single up the middle, the shortstop fields the ball and throws over the head of the first baseman, scoring Martinez on the error. Adam Klein singles, moving Tucker to third. A pitch to Mike Massaro goes past the catcher, scoring Tucker for the tie. Massaro singles to score Klein. A ball hit by Ryan Babineau is deflected by the pitcher, he then tries to roll it to first base for the out, it's called an error and advances Massaro to second. Steve Liddle walks to load the bases. Brian Kolb pops out to short. End 4th inning: RailCats 4, Saints 3
Joey Becker opens with a double. Brad Boyer grounds out to first, moving Becker to third. A Willie Cabrera walk puts runners on the corners. Brandon Tripp hits a sac fly to deep center that scores Becker. Jose Hernandez strikes out swinging. Mid 5th inning: RailCats 4, Saints 4
Drew Martinez strikes out looking, Zac Mitchell grounds out to short and Chase Tucker flies out to center field. End 5th inning: RailCats 4, Saints 4
New RailCats pitcher is Taylor Sewitt, replacing Coombs who struck out five in five innings. Jordan Tripp singles to right. Dwight Childs grounds to second, taking out Tripp. Childs is safe at first. Dan Kaczrowski strikes out and Adam Frost singles to put runners on the corners. New pitcher is Boomer Pots to throw to Joey Becker. Becker grounds out to second. Mid 6th inning: RailCats 4, Saints 4
Adam Klein singles, he's on base for the fourth time tonight. Mike Massaro singles, that's two up, two on. Cristian Guerrero grounds back to the mound. Ryan Babineau hits his first homer of the season to also score Klein and Massaro. Pitcher Wes Roemer is tossed after the third pitch to Steve Liddle for arguing balls and strikes. He's replaced by Dustin Klabunder, who was already warming up in the pen. Liddle is walked on the first pitch by Klabunder, it'll be charged to Roemer, his third walk of the game. Brian Kolb doubles, runners are on second and third. Drew Martinez single scores Liddle, who is charged to Roemer. A single by Zac Mitchell scores Kolb and Martinez. Before Chase Tucker singles to center, Mitchell steals second. With a six-run lead, we'll watch for the feared retaliation. The RailCats have batted around. Adam Klein grounds out to second. End 6th inning: RailCats 10, Saints 4
Brad Boyer strikes out swinging, then Willie Cabrera singles. Brandon Tripp grounds into a double play. 7th-inning stretch: RailCats 10, Saints 4
Mike Massaro flies out to center. Cristian Guerrero singles, but is out at second on a fielder's choice by Ryan Babineau. Steve Liddle pops out to short. End 7th inning: RailCats 10, Saints 4
New RailCats pitcher is Ian Durham, in for Boomer Potts. Jose Hernandez strikes out swinging. Jordan Tripp grounds out to short. Dwight Childs strikes out swinging. Mid 8th inning: RailCats 10, Saints 4
Brian Kolb singles to left field, with not much space left before the wall. Drew Martinez grounds out to third. Zac Mitchell strikes out swinging. Chase Tucker leaves a runner on lining out to second. End 8th inning: RailCats 10, Saints 4
Joey Becker is walked. Brad Boyer flies out to center, but it's really left center caught by Mike Massaro. Willie Cabrera lines out to right. Brandon Tripp flies out to left. FINAL: RailCats 10, Saints 4
AFTER THE GAME
Ryan Babineau: "They all feel good, but when you're out for a couple weeks, it's rewarding to get back in there and make something happen. I've been putting the work in with Audric, the trainer, and it's a great feeling. It's good to be back on the field.
"I had to be pretty smart about the repetitions I was taking (during the injury). Maybe it was good for me that I wasn't swinging the bat well prior to getting hurt, it just really forced me to simplify things. As simple as it sounds, just see the ball, hit the ball. My mom's been telling me that since I was six and I put it to work."
Greg Tagert: "Everybody did a little bit of stuff tonight, we were able to take advantage of a couple mistakes ... (Coombs) was able to limit the damage and Taylor and Boomer came in to get big outs. The two guys that get it started in Klein and Massaro, it's no secret if those two guys are doing what they're capable of on a nightly basis, we're going to be successful and it sets up things. I couldn't be happier for Ryan Babineau, it was a trying time for him because of how much effort and work he's put in, if you know all the injuries he's faced in his career just to get back to the RailCats. This was a stint on the DL and missing a couple weeks, it was tough for him. He wanted to come back quick and when he realized it wasn't going to happen, he settled into the routine of the (rehab) and we activated him a couple games early just for his own mental well-being more than anything. I didn't think he was quite ready to play on Saturday when he was activated. He's a guy his teammates love and they respond to him, so to come up with a big three-run homer and it's something we haven't done a lot of this season, but it couldn't have come at a better time.
"I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Ian Durham, who came in and got six big outs for us to close out the game."