Getting to CHS Field

Home Not So Sweet As Saints Lose 7-5 To Explorers

ST. PAUL, MN June 12, 2017

In a battle of division leaders the St. Paul Saints played their first home game in more than two weeks.  They carried a lead late, but couldn’t hang on as they gave up a season tying high 17 hits to the Sioux City Explorers and lost 7-5 on Monday night at CHS Field in front of 6,492.


          With the Saints leading 5-2 in the top of the sixth Brandon Alvarez singled off the leg of Saints pitcher Jason Creasy.  With two outs and Alvarez at second Josh Vitters knocked home Alvarez with a single just past the backhanded try of third baseman Nate Hanson to make it 5-3.  Creasy would depart for reliever Connor Little.  Michael Lang greeted Little with a double to left, but Vitters was thrown out trying to score from first on a great throw from Tim Colwell to Hanson, who threw a strike to Maxx Garrett for the out.


          In the seventh the Explorers continued to hit Little as Jayce Ray led off with a solo home run to right, his second of the season, to make it 5-4.  Nate Samson singled to center and with one out Tyler Ogle doubled him to third.  The Saints went to Caleb Thielbar, but Washington tied the game with a single to center.  Alvarez then dropped down a safety squeeze scoring Ogle to give the Explorers the lead.  Little was charged with three runs in 0.2 innings.  He had not given up a run in his last 8.0 innings of work.


          The Explorers tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when Vitters led off with an infield single to short.  He was sacrificed to second and went to third on a ground out.  With two outs Samson knocked home Vitters with a bloop single to left.


          The Saints had small chances in the eighth and ninth, but couldn’t produce anything against the Explorers bullpen.  With two outs in the eighth Tanner Vavra singled and Danny Oh walked, but Breland Almadova grounded out to short to end the inning.


          In the ninth Hanson led off the inning with a single, but Brady Shoemaker fouled out and Anthony Gallas grounded into a game ending double play.


          With the Saints trailing 1-0 in the second they scored three runs off of Explorers starter Cody Forsythe.  Gallas hit a solo homer to left, his second of the season, to tie the game at one.  Tony Thomas walked and Colwell doubled him to third.  Garrett came through with an RBI single and Vavra made it 3-1 with an RBI groundout.


          With the Saints leading 3-2 in the fourth Gallas led off with a walk.  With one out Colwell walked.  With two outs Vavra singled to center scoring Gallas and Colwell scored when Ray had the ball pop out of his glove trying to field the ball.


          The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series at CHS Field on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (3-1, 2.63) against Explorers RHP Kurt Heyer (1-1, 2.14).  It is Awkward Tuesday.  The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, and heard on BOB FM.