GARY | The RailCats have already guaranteed they won't lose the four-game series against St. Paul.
Tonight's game is a fight to win or tie their fourth series after losing two in a row to start June.
The RailCats lost in Amarillo then were swept by Sioux Falls June 3-9 before tying against Quebec (the final game was rained out), beating Fargo twice in a three-game series and tying Wichita in a four-game series.
The RailCats didn't lose a series in the month of May, tying Lincoln to open the season with four games, then beating Wichita, Kasas City, Sioux City and El Paso in two of three games. Though the 'Cats have been swept in a series, they haven't swept a team yet this season.
Last year, the team's record for series wins was five straight to open August. In all, the 'Cats won or tied 15 of 30 series in 2012.
Prior to the game, the RailCats signed infielder Christian Vitters and placed Friday's starter James Adkins on the disabled list.
Vitters is a 2006 draftee of the Oakland Athletics, playing as high as A+ ball in 2009. He's not unfamiliar with the Chicagoland area, spending two seasons in Kane County in 2007 and 2008. His 82 games in Stockton, Calif., in 2009 was the last time he played professional baseball.
In his professional career, he has played everywhere from first base to shortstop and third.
Vitters is the older brother of Josh Vitters, known by Cubs fans from his 36-game stint last season and his continued spot in the organization. Josh Vitters is now in Triple-A Iowa within the Cubs franchise.
St. Paul Saints (17-17)
2B Adam Frost
SS Joey Becker
3B Brad Boyer
LF Willie Cabrera
RF Brandon Tripp
CF Jose Hernandez
DH Jordan Tripp
1B Dan Kaczrowski
C Mark Radmacher
RHP Dylan Thomas (0-0, 27.00 ERA)
LF Adam Klein
RF Mike Massaro
1B Danny Pulfer
C Craig Maddox
DH Christian Vitters
3B Brian Kolb
CF Drew Martinez
SS Zac Mitchell
2B Chase Tucker
LHP Alain Quijano (4-2, 5.40 ERA)
Drew Martinez in center made a running catch to nab a ball hit by Adam Frost for the first out. Mike Massaro makes a running-diving catch to rob a hit from Joey Becker. Brad Boyer grounds out to second. Mid 1st inning: Saints 0, RailCats 0
Adam Klein walks on five pitches. Mike Massaro flies out to left, after a meeting on the mound with starter Dylan Thomas and the St. Paul pitching coach. Klein takes second on a passed ball from a pitch to Danny Pulfer. A wild pitch to Pulfer puts Klein on third. (Two pitches, two bases.) Pulfer is walked on four pitches. Craig Maddox singles to score Klein. Christian Vitters strikes out swinging. On the first pitch to Brian Kolb, Danny Pulfer steals third. Brian Kolb singles up the middle to score Pulfer. An infield single by Drew Martinez loads the bases (an odd hit that cheated to the second baseman's right, he threw it on the catch, but Martinez beat the throw. Frost had the throw to second base, but opted to go to first). Zac Mitchell flies out to left field. End 1st inning: RailCats 2, Saints 0
Willie Cabrera opens with a double off of Alain Quijano and Brandon Tripp follows with a single into right field. Jose Hernandez grounds to third where Cabrera is caught in a rundown. Jordan Tripp strikes out swinging. Dan Kaczrowski pops out to second base. Mid 2nd inning: RailCats 2, Saints 0.
Chase Tucker singles up the middle. Adam Klein grounds out to second. Mike Massaro walks to give the 'Cats two base runners with one out. Double steal puts Tucker on third and Massaro on second. Danny Pulfer singles to score Tucker and Massaro. Pulfer is on second on the throw home to try to catch Massaro. Craig Maddox flies out to deepish left. The score by Massaro ties him for all-time No. 1 on the RailCats run list with Jay Pecci (294). Vitters singles to score Pulfer. On a pitch to Brian Kolb, Vitters steals second (Greg Tagert said Vitters is the fastest guy on the team). Kolb lines out to first base. End 2nd inning: RailCats 5, Saints 0.
Mark Radamacher leads off with a single. Adam Frost grounds to short, where the ball is bobbled by Zac Mitchell and recorded as an error. Joey Becker singles into shallow right, a ball that was chased down by three fielders. Brad Boyer pops out foul behind the plate. Willie Cabrera singles past a diving second baseman, scoring Radamacher and Frost. Joey Becker scores when the throw bounces off of Brian Kolb's chest and into the dirt, an error on Mike Massaro. Brandon Tripp is hit by a pitch. That'll bring a meeting on the mound. Jose Hernandez flies out to left, Jordan Tripp flies out to center. Mid 3rd inning: RailCats 5, Saints 3
Drew Martinez strikes out swinging. Zac Mitchell singles. Chase Tucker flies out to right. Adam Klein strikes out swinging. End 3rd inning: RailCats 5, Saints 3
Kan Kaczrowski grounds out to short, Mark Radamacher flies out to left and Adam Frost pops out to first base. Mid 4th inning: RailCats 5, Saints 3
Mike Massaro hits a sure-fire double down the left-field line, but it's caught just in fair territory by Willie Cabrera for the first out. Danny Pulfer singles up the middle. He's reached all three times up tonight, and scored in his previous two. Craig Maddox grounds into a double play. End 4th inning: RailCats 5, Saints 3
Joey Becker grounds out to short, Brad Boyer flies out to center and Willie Cabrera strikes out swinging. That's the second K for Quijano. Mid 5th inning: RailCats 5, Saints 3.
New Saints pitcher is Billy Soule. Dylan Thomas threw 91 pitches in four innings, allowed eight hits and five earned runs. Christian Vitters faces 10 pitches from Soule, then walks. Vitters takes second on a wild pitch to Brian Kolb. Kolb then flies out to right. Drew Martinez singles to left, it was shallow and seemed to be caught so Vitters is still on second. Zac Mitchell flies out to center, as does Chase Tucker. End 5th inning: RailCats 5, Saints 3.
Brandon Tripp pops out to third, Jose Hernandez pops out to second, Jordan Tripp strikes out looking. Mid 6th inning: RailCats 5, Saints 3.
Adam Klein walks on five pitches. Mike Massaro grounds out to second, advancing Klein. Adam Klein steals third on a pitch to Danny Pulfer, who has seen eight. Pulfer grounds out to second in a nine pitch at-bat that only includes two balls. Craig Maddox doubles to nearly the warning track in left-center, scoring Klein. Christian Vitters doubles to score Maddox, then advances when the ball is held. A single by Brian Kolb scores Vitters. Drew Martinez flies out to left. End 6th inning: RailCats 8, Saints 3.
Dan Kaczrowski is caught at second trying to turn a single into a double for the first hit and out of the inning. Mark Radmacher strikes out and Adam Frost lines out to short. The RailCats have retired 14 straight Saints. Mid 7th inning: RailCats 8, Saints 3
New Saints pitcher is Mike Koons. Soule threw 65 pitches in 2 innings. Zac Mitchell grounds out to short. Chase Tucker is walked. Adam Klein grounds out to second. Mike Massaro is walked. Danny Pulfer grounds to second where Mike Massaro is taken out on the fielder's choice. End 7th inning: RailCats 8, Saints 3
Joey Becker reaches on an error, ending the RailCats' streak of consecutive outs at 14. Brad Boyer grounds to first and Becker is taken out at second, Boyer safe at first. Willie Cabrera flies out to center, Boyer is already at second so a throw to first creates the double play. Mid 8th inning: RailCats 8, Saints 3
Craig Maddox opens with his second double of the game. That would have been out in Kansas City. Christian Vitters strikes out swinging. That's his second K, but the newest RailCat was still 2-for-4 with a run, two RBIs, a walk and a stolen base in his first game in four years. Brian Kolb singles up the middle, moving Maddox to third, then taking second on the throw. Drew Martinez singles into right field, scoring Maddox and Kolb. Zac Mitchell flies out foul behind the plate. Chase Tucker knocks his second hit of the night. Adam Klein grounds out to short. End 8th inning: RailCats 10, Saints 3
Alain Quijano returns for the ninth inning with 99 pitches through eight. Brandon Tripp singles. Jose Hernandez flies out to right and Jordan Tripp flies out to center. Dan Kaczrowski lines out to third. Final score: RailCats 10, Saints 3
AFTER THE GAME
Greg Tagert: "The game could have taken a turn, they get three in the third inning and it gets a whole different feel to it. We make an error, and we'll stay with the positives but it opens the door a little bit for them in the third, then of course they get the big hit by (Willie) Cabrera and all of a sudden it's a different ball game. That's when your top of the rotation or your ace, and we brought Alain here and we don't want to put that label on a guy to make him uncomfortable, but that's what we're looking for with front-line pitchers, what's going to happen after that and he really did a heck of a job after that. All the credit goes to him. Not that we let the young guy, Thomas, off the hook but he pitched a couple of scoreless innings and they went to the bullpen. We got a huge two-out hit by Maddox to (help) make it 6-3. That was the one as key offensively. Vitters followed with the ball that fell in in left field. I thought the Maddox two out hit, and they bring the infield in. I thought from the offensive standpoint we did some great things.
"Hopefully that part of the game is coming together because we can do some things. We got some extra-base hits that was nice to see, but really for Alain to come back after that third inning certainly was as important as anything."
Alain Quijano: "It was just throwing strikes. When you're throwing strikes you want them to attack you. They can hit the baseball and they just missed a little bit tonight and I went out a winner.
"I don't think I changed my approach at all (after the third inning). In the third they got on it a little bit, in the fourth they missed a little bit. As you could see, they hit the ball around, but in the air, not so much.
"I'm done, I'm gassed. Going on that three days rest, coming off 110 pitches last time, I'm just a little tired. Our pen needed a rest today, so you have to go out there and give them a chance. Hopefully we can do what we need to do and take care of things tomorrow."