Deflated: Saints Manage One Hit In 12-1 Loss, Trail In Series 2-0ST. PAUL, MN September 10, 2015
DEFLATED: SAINTS MANAGE ONE HIT IN 12-1 LOSS, TRAIL 2-0
SIOUX CITY, IA (September 10, 2015) – The St. Paul Saints had one highlight on Thursday night at Lewis and Clark Park, a solo home run by Angelo Songco that gave the Saints a 1-0 lead in the second. From that point forward the Saints did not collect another hit and were manhandled by the Sioux City Explorers losing 12-1 and now trail the best-of-five series 2-0.
Facing the Pitcher of the Year in the American Association, Patrick Johnson, Songco clubbed his second home run in as many games, a solo shot to right to start off the second inning. Johnson didn’t allow anything that was close to a hit after that tossing 7.2 innings allowing one run on one hit while walking four and striking out eight.
Saints starter Jeff Shields had a shaky first inning, but managed to pitch around an infield single and two walks.
In the second, however, he wasn’t as fortunate. Ryan Court led off with a walk and moved to second on a single from Tommy Mendonca. Matt Koch sacrificed the runners over and the Explorers tied it at one on an RBI single by Brent Keys. Matty Johnson’s sacrifice fly gave the Explorers a 2-1 lead, a lead they never relinquished.
In the third the wheels completely came off and all with two outs. Shields retired the first two men he faced which brought up Noah Perio. He hit a weak ground ball to third that Steve Nikorak backhanded and rushed his throw to first to try and get the speedy Perio. His throw was off line and got past Songco allowing Perio to reach on a single and advance on the error. That opened the floodgates as the Explorers scored six runs with two outs. Ryan Court made it 3-1 with an RBI double. After an intentional walk to Mendonca, Koch made it 5-1 with a two-run double. Brent Keys walked and Johnson made it 6-1 with an RBI double. That was the night for Shields as he gave way to Kevin Cravey. Michael Lang greeted him with a two-run single to make it 8-1. Shields went 2.2 innings allowing eight runs on seven hits while walking five.
In the sixth the Explorers made it 9-1 when Lang singled and Rene Tosoni followed with a single. With two outs Court singled home Lang.
The Explorers would finish the scoring with an RBI triple by Lang in the seventh and a two-run single from Mendonca in the eighth.
The two teams now head to CHS Field for Game 3 of the best-of-five American Association Semi-Final series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. presented by ECOLAB. The Saints send RHP Dustin Crenshaw (14-2, 2.43) to the mound against Explorers RHP John Straka (11-3, 3.27). The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, heard on Club 1220 KLBB and in the ballpark on 97.9 FM.