Hamburger Dominates, Saints Start Off On Right Foot With 8-3 Over RailcatsST. PAUL, MN May 19, 2016
Pitching in front of friends and family St. Paul Saints starter Mark Hamburger, a local product who went to Mounds High School and lives in Shoreview, dominated in his first start of 2016. He hurled 7.0 strong innings, the offense gave him eight runs of support and the Saints began 2016 with an 8-3 win over the Gary SouthShore Railcats in front of 8,286 at CHS Field.
Hamburger, who set the single-season franchise record for innings pitched when he was with the Saints in 2013, proved he still had the same stamina in his first start of the season. He retired the first six Railcats he faced before giving up a leadoff single in the third inning.
The only trouble Hamburger got into came in the fifth when he walked the leadoff hitter in the inning Tillman Pugh. Jaime Del Valle followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Hamburger, however, struck out Elbert Devarie and Jarred Mederos. Cameron Newell would bloop a base hit into right field scoring Pugh for the lone run allowed by Hamburger. He went 7.0 innings allowing one run on three hits while walking three and striking out five to pick up his first win of the season.
The Saints offense took four innings to knock the off-season cobwebs off, but finally collected their first hit with a Nate Hanson leadoff single in the fourth. Mike Gilmartin walked and Tanner Vavra sacrificed the two over. Tony Caldwell’s infield single to third loaded the bases. Alonzo Harris roped a two-run single to right-center to give the Saints a 2-0 lead. Then the Saints played small ball. Breland Almadova laid down a perfectly executed suicide squeeze to the right side and raced down the line for a single when no one covered first, giving the Saints a 3-0 lead. The very next batter, Willie Argo, dropped down a suicide squeeze scoring Harris to make it 4-0.
In the fifth the Saints went from small ball to big fly when Mike Gilmartin blasted a two-run homer to right, his first of the year, to give the Saints a 6-1 lead.
The Saints finished their scoring in the seventh when they plated two with two outs. Nate Hanson knocked a single to center with two down. He finished the night 3-4 with three runs scored. Gilamrtin then doubled to put runners at second and third. He finished the night 2-2 with a double, home run, two RBI and three runs scored. Vavra followed with a two-run single giving the Saints an 8-1 lead.
The same two teams meet in the second game of a four game series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (NR) to the mound against RailCats LHP Eric Eadington (NR). It is Xcel Energy Friday Night Fireworks featuring the music of David Bowie. The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB and watched on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities area.