The Big 5-0, Saints First To 50 Wins Behind Strong Start From Straka, Win 5-2ST. PAUL, MN August 8, 2016
As the season gets closer and closer to the end Chaska native John Straka gets better and better. He once again dazzled over 7.0 innings, pitched out of a bases loaded no out jam in the first and the St. Paul Saints won 5-2 on Monday night at U.S. Steel Yard. They became the first team to 50 wins, improving to 50-23 on the season.
The Saints gave Straka and the bullpen all the runs they would need in the first when they put up a three spot. Alonzo Harris led off the game with a single to right-center. He moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt by Richard Castillo. Brady Burzynski made Castillo pay with an RBI single to center to make it 1-0 as Burzynski advanced to second on the throw home. Tony Thomas singled Burzynksi to third and Trever Adams made it 2-0 with an RBI single. Adams finished the night 3-5 with an RBI. With one out Willie Argo gave the Saints a 3-0 lead with an RBI single. The Saints collected 11 hits on the evening, all singles.
The turning point in the game occurred in the bottom of the first when Straka faced the bases loaded with nobody out. Cameron Newell led off with a walk and advanced to second on a single by Reggie Wilson. Anthony Cheky then dropped a bunt to third that Vavra fielded, but nobody covered first and that loaded the bases. Straka helped his defense out by striking out Tillman Pugh and getting Jaime Del Valle to fly out to shallow left. Straka finished the inning by getting Alex Crosby to ground back to the mound.
In the third the Railcats scored their lone run against Straka when Wilson reached on a single off the glove of a backhanded try by Thomas at short. Wilson stole second, moved to third on a groundout by Cheky and scored on a groundout from Pugh to make it 3-1. Straka would go 7.0 innings allowing one run on seven hits while walking one and striking out three.
The Saints responded right back in the fourth when Breland Almadova singled to left with one out. Tanner Vavra singled him to third and Almadova scored on fielder’s choice ground out by Harris to make it 4-1.
The Saints extended their lead to 5-1 in the eighth when three walks loaded the bases with one out. Vavra’s sacrifice fly scored Bryson Myles.
The Railcats got their last run off of reliever Caleb Thielabar in the bottom of the inning when Cheky doubled with one out, stole third and scored on a groundout by Pugh.
Ryan Rodebaugh earned his league leading 21st save of the season with a perfect ninth. He hasn’t allowed a run in 14 consecutive appearances (14.0 IP).
The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Tuesday night at U.S. Steel Yard at 7:10 p.m. The Saints send RHP Dan Johnson (2-2, 4.77) against Railcats RHP Karl Triana (4-4, 3.50). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.