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Getting to CHS Field

Good Riddance: Historically Bad Month Comes To End In 13-2 Loss To Saltdogs

ST. PAUL, MN July 31, 2017

It was one of the worst months in the 25-year history of the St. Paul Saints.  A month that saw them begin with a 7.0 game lead in the North Division and end the month in third place.  The end wasn’t any kinder than the beginning as the Saints lost 13-2 to the Lincoln Saltdogs on Monday night at Haymarket Park. 

 

          In a battle of two of the top four pitchers in the league, Saints starter Benji Waite, who was first in ERA at 2.17, against Saltdogs starter Derek Gordon, fourth at 2.76.  Waite didn’t get out of the third inning as the Saltdogs jumped on him early.  In the first Waite had the leadoff hitter Christian Ibarra 0-2 before walking him.  He had the second hitter, Matty Johnson, 0-2 and hit him.  Cesar Valera hit a sinking liner to right that Breland Almadova dove for, but he just missed it and the ball rolled under his glove.  Two runs scored on the triple and Valera scored when the relay throw was dropped by second baseman JJ Gould, making it 3-0.

 

          In the second Waite walked the leadoff hitter Nathaniel Maggio.  Randolph Oduber singled to left putting runners at first and second.  With one out and runners at second and third Ibarra doubled home two making it 5-0 Saltdogs.  A lineout by Johnson moved Ibarra to third and he scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-0.

 

          Waite’s night ended in the third after Maggio singled to center, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch making it 7-0.  Two walks later and Waite was removed for Connor Little.  Waite lasted 2.2 innings allowing seven runs on five hits while walking six and striking out three.

 

          The Saints scored their two runs in the fifth when Tim Colwell walked with one out.  Almadova doubled him home to make it 7-1.  Nate Hanson, who extended his hitting streak to 12 in the first, singled Almadova to third.  Anthony Gallas fouled out to first, but Almadova caught the Saltdogs defense not paying attention and he raced home to make it 7-2.

 

          In the bottom of the fifth the Saltdogs put the game out of reach with a four run inning.  With two outs Johnson walked and, on a 3-2 pitch, with Johnson running Valera singled to left.  Johnson raced to third, the throw went into second, Johnson kept running and scored to make it 8-2.  After a walk to Curt Smith, Tommy Mendonca crushed a three-run homer to right, his fourth of the season to make it 11-2.  Little went 2.1 innings allowing four runs on four hits while walking two and striking out two.

 

          For the third time this season Almadova pitched out of relief and threw a scoreless eighth inning.

 

          The 9-18 July is the fifth worst month in franchise history behind August 2008 (4-15), August, 2014 (8-22), July, 1999 (9-19) and June, 2001 (9-19).

 

          The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Tuesday night at Haymarket Park at 6:45 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (10-3, 3.55) to the mound against Saltdogs RHP Shairon Martis (1-0, 0.00) in a battle of former Major Leaguers.  The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.