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Getting to CHS Field

Hamburger Strikes Out Career Tying High 11, Thielbar Saves the Day in 4-2 Victory Over RedHawks

ST. PAUL, MN July 8, 2017

Pitching on short rest for the fourth time in his career St. Paul Saints starter Mark Hamburger was masterful.  He struck out a career tying high 11, but when he needed help another former Major Leaguer was there, reliever Caleb Thielbar.  He pitched out of a bases loaded no out jam and the Saints defeated the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 4-2 on Saturday night at Newman Outdoor Field.  The win improved the Saints to 30-18 on the season and increased their lead to 5.0 games in the North.

 

          With the Saints up by two in the eighth Hamburger gave up a leadoff single to Chris Grayson, whom he struck out the three previous times.  Devan Ahart then hit a grounder to first baseman Mitch Delfino, but his throw to second pulled Jon Kristoffersen off the bag for an error.  That was the night for Hamburger as Thielbar, the new Saints closer after Seth Rosin was signed by the San Francisco Giants organization, came out of the bullpen.  Thielbar walked the first man he faced, Keury De La Cruz, to load the bases.  Up stepped the cleanup hitter Josh Mazzola.  Thielbar struck him out, then got KD Kang, who was 3-3 against Hamburger, to foul out to third and finished off the inning by striking out Trever Adams.

 

          Thielbar finished it off in the ninth after giving up a leadoff bloop single to Charlie Valerio, just the second hit Thilebar had allowed in his last seven appearances, he retired the next three hitters for his first save of the season.

 

          The RedHawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first off of Hamburger when Ahart walked with one out.  De La Cruz lined a single to left-center putting runners at the corners.  After a strikeout of Mazzola and De La Cruz stealing second, Kang singled home two runs.

 

          That was all Hamburger would allow as he gave up just two singles from the second through the sixth.  In the seventh Kang singled and, with one out, Valerio and Yhoxian Medina singled to load the bases.  Hamburger would get Derrick Fox to ground into a 1-2-3 inning ending double play.  Hamburger went 7.0+ innings allowing two runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out 11.  The last pitcher to strike out 11 was John Straka who also did it against the RedHawks last year on July 17 at CHS Field.  They are the only two pitchers in the last decade to strikeout 11 for the Saints.

 

          The Saints got on the board against the fifth best pitcher in the league, Tyler Alexander, in the second.  With one out Thomas reached on an infield single when the second baseman Fox tripped while fielding a ground ball.  Kes Carter walked and Maxx Garrett singled home Thomas to make it 2-1.

 

          The Saints tied it in the fourth when Danny Oh doubled to left with two outs.  Mitch Delfino hit a ground ball up the middle that was backhanded by Fox, but his throw to first was too late.  Oh came racing around third and beat the throw home to tie the game at two.

 

          In the fifth Brady Shoemaker singled with one out.  With two outs and two on the former RedHawk, Carter, roped a two-run double to right that proved to be the difference in the game.  Alexander went 6.0 innings allowing four runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out four.  It was the most runs the Saints had scored against Alexander in the three previous starts against the lefty.

 

          The Saints have Sunday off and are back home on Monday night for game one of a four game series against the Sioux Falls Canaries at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Jason Creasy (4-4, 5.06) to the mound.  It is Variety Show Monday presented by Metropolitan State University with guest emcee Jay Crawford and musical guest Chris Hawkey.  The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB.