GARY | The RailCats enter their final seven games of the season having moved a starting pitcher to the inactive list on Tuesday.
Alberto Rolon, who was acquired in a trade with Lincoln on July 28, was placed on the inactive list and first baseman Kenny Bryant was moved activated from the disabled list. Bryant had been on the DL since Aug. 21 when Andrew Johnston was activated from the inactive list. The American Association allowed a 23-man roster as of last week Saturday, so the RailCats roster stands at 23.
The RailCats open their seven-game homestand against St. Paul, a team also fighting for the wild card and final spot in the postseason. The RailCats are 7-4 against the Saints this season, including a 5-2 mark in August and the final two games of a three-game series that stretched from Aug. 13-15.
The RailCats postseason quest concluded with Winnipeg's win over St. Paul on Monday. Though the 'Cats are seven games behind the Fish with seven games remaining, there is no play-in game with ties this season, with head-to-head records determining the winner. Winnipeg had a 4-2 record over the RailCats this season.
St. Paul still has a lot to play for, behind Winnipeg by three games in the wild-card race.
St. Paul (50-43)
7 Jim Prapoport CF
2 Adam Frost SS
26 Willie Cabrera DH
23 Ole Sheldon 1B
25 Ronnie Bourquin 3B
11 Jose Hernandez LF
9 Miles Durham RF
6 Joe Spiers 2B
16 Jon Hurst C
RHP Kyle Ruwe (3-1, 1.81 ERA)
36 Adam Klein LF
3 Mike Massaro RF
30 Brian Kolb 3B
24 Craig Maddox C
4 Mike Rohde 1B
7 Zac Mitchell DH
16 Trevor Willis CF
18 Chris Carrara 2B
9 David Cooper SS
RHP Morgan Coombs (6-7, 4.76 ERA)
Leadoff hitter Jim Rapaport singles up the middle. Adam Frost strikes out looking. Willie Cabrera singles into left field, that's two on with one out. Ole Sheldon doubles to left-center, scoring Rapaport. Ronnie Bourquin hits a homer that scores Cabrera and Sheldon. Jose Hernandez follows with a shallow single to center. Hernandez is caught trying to steal second on the first pitch to Miles Durham. On a 1-1 pitch, Durham flies out to left. Mid 1st inning: Saints 4, RailCats 0
Adam Klein opens with an infield single. Mike Massaro grounds to short, where Klein is taken out at second. Massaro is safe at first. Brian Kolb also grounds out to short, where Massaro is taken out at second. For the second-straight chance, the Saints are unable to finish a double play. Craig Maddox grounds back to the mound. End 1st inning: Saints 4, RailCats 0
Joe Spiers singles into center field. Jon Hurst strikes out swinging. Jim Rapaport flies out to short. Adam Frost pops out to first, leaving Joe Spiers on base. Mid 2nd inning: Saints 4, RailCats 0
Mike Rohde flies out to center field on a 2-2 pitch. Zac Mitchell flies out to left. Trevor Willis hits an infield single. Manager Greg Tagert said he'll be playing Willis in center field during the series as a test to learn if he's someone they'd like to see on next season's roster. Willis steals second on the second pitch to Chris Carrara. Willis is on third as Carrara follows with a infield single to deep short. David Cooper flies out to center. End 2nd inning: Saints 4, RailCats 0.
Willie Cabrera grounds out to short. Ole Sheldon singles into shallow left to put a runner on for the third straight inning. Ronnie Bourquin also singles, putting two on. Jose Hernandez grounds to third, where Sheldon is tagged on the base path. Because Brian Kolb bobbles the ball at third base, Hernandez safely reaches first. A double into left field by Miles Durham scores Bourquin. Joe Spiers grounds out to short. Mid 3rd inning: Saints 5, RailCats 0.
Adam Klein flies out to right field. Mike Massaro is walked, the first walk issued by Kyle Ruwe. Brian Kolb is hit by a pitch. Craig Maddox grounds out to first, moving both runners into scoring position. Mike Rohde lines out to left. End 3rd inning: Saints 5, RailCats 0
Jon Hurst flies out to left. Jim Rapoport singles up the middle. Adam Frost also singles up the middle, moving Rapoport to third. The Saints have put 12 runners on base. A sac fly by Willie Cabrera scores Rapoport. Frost steals second, then takes third as the throw to tag him reaches center field. Ole Sheldon is walked and Ronnie Bourquin is walked. Jose Hernandez singles with a ball that hugs the third-base line, scoring Frost and Sheldon. Miles Durham grounds to short, where Hernandez is taken out at second. Mid 4th inning: Saints 8, RailCats 0
Zac Mitchell grounds back to the mound. Trevor Willis singles up the middle, the first RailCats hit out of the infield. Chris Carrara grounds into a double play. End 4th inning: Saints 8, RailCats 0
Joe Spiers flies out to center field. All nine Saints have hits as Jon Hurst singles into shallow right field. Jim Rapoport hits a homer to right field, scoring Hurst. Adam Frost reaches on a three-bag error in center field. Willie Cabrera hits what he thinks is a sac fly to right, but Mike Massaro rockets the ball to the infield, keeping Frost on base. Ole Sheldon grounds back to the mound. Mid 5th inning: Saints 10, RailCats 0
David Cooper singles into left field. Adam Klein follows with a blooper into left-center. Mike Massaro singles, scoring David Cooper. Brian Kolb singles to load the bases. Craig Maddox grounds out to first, scoring Klein. Mike Rohde singles into center, reaches second on a throwing error and scores Massaro. A sac fly by Zac Mitchell scores Kolb. Trevor Willis grounds out to second. End 5th inning: Saints 10, RailCats 4
Estevan Uriegas replaces Morgan Coombs, who finishes the game one hit shy of allowing a franchise record for hits in a game. Ronnie Bourquin singles up the middle. Jose Hernandez grounds into a double play. Miles Durham grounds out to short, making this technically the first 1-2-3 inning for the RailCats defense. Mid 6th inning: Saints 10, RailCats 4
Chris Carrara opens with a single into left field. David Cooper grounds out to second, advancing Carrara. Adam Klein singles into left field, moving Cooper to third. That's it for starter Kyle Ruwe, who is replaced by righty Billy Spottiswood. Mike Massaro flies out to left field, a sac fly that scores Carrara. Brian Kolb strikes out swinging, the first K recorded by a RailCats hitter today. End 6th inning: Saints 10, RailCats 5
Joe Spiers grounds out to short, Jon Hurst grounds out to second and Jim Rapoport follows suit. 7th-inning stretch: Saints 10, RailCats 5
Craig Maddox flies out to center. Mike Rohde grounds out to short. Zac Mitchell grounds out to second base. End 7th inning: Saints 10, RailCats 5
Adam Frost grounds out to second. Willie Cabrera singles into shallow right field. There'll be a talk on the mound with pitching coach Dennis Pelfrey. Ole Sheldon singles into left field. Ronnie Bourquin singles into right, scoring Cabrera. That's in for Uriegas, who is replaced by Nolan Nicholson on the mound. Jake Krause will pinch hit for Jose Hernandez. Krause pops out to second base. Miles Durham singles into shallow left on what looks like a communication error between third and short, that'll score Sheldon. Joe Spiers flies out to right. Mid 8th inning: Saints 12, RailCats 5
New Saints pitcher is righty Taylor Sinclair, replacing Spottiswood. Trevor Willis is walked on a 3-2 pitch. Willis takes second on a wild pitch to Chris Carrara. After facing down an 0-2 pitch, Carrara is walked. David Cooper singles into left field, the 12th hit by the RailCats tonight, to load the bases. Adam Klein grounds into a double play whileWillisscores. No RBI for Klein, but a run for the RailCats. Mike Massaro grounds out to first base. End 8th inning: Saints 12, RailCats 6
Jon Hurst strikes out. Jim Rapoport hits a one-out single. Adam Frost singles up the middle to move Rapoport to second. Willie Cabrera pops out to short. Ole Sheldon singles to scoreRapoport.Ronnie Bourquin flies out to center. Mid 9th inning: Saints 13, RailCats 6
New Saints pitcher is Chris Odegaard. Brian Kolb opens the inning with a single into shallow right. Kolb takes second on the first pitch to Craig Maddox. In three pitches, Maddox is caught looking. Mike Rohde also strikes out. Zac Mitchell pops out to third base. Final score: Saints 13, RailCats 6
After the game
Following the game, manager Greg Tagert didn't have much to say.
"That's certainly not what we expected tonight," Tagert said. "The result is always something that, the way it happened, and unfortunately, Morgan with the way he'd been pitching overall, including the last time he faced these guys and on the road in Lincoln following it up with the outings against Winnipeg (and) Sioux Falls, tough night for him.
"As I said before the game, we've been playing with the same intensity and the same motivation, so you can chalk it up to one of those nights. But again, the starting pitching, and a couple of big innings tonight, and certainly the first inning huge.
"Even after we kinda made a dent in the lead to give up the extra run, Maddox doesn't hold onto the ball that Massaro throws to the plate and Kolb misplayed the ball, you don't see those as errors, but those are the things again, with this ballclub, that have hurt us all year. They keep showing up a little from time to time and when it happens against the better clubs it's magnified. Tonight was one of those nights."