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Getting to CHS Field

How Sweep It Is, Saints Win Fifth Straight With 5-3 Victory Over Dogs

ST. PAUL, MN May 23, 2018

St. Paul Saints pitcher Jake Esch was champing at the bit to start his second game of the season after not getting through the second inning in his first. He stepped up and the offense did enough as the Saints swept the Chicago Dogs 5-3, earning their fifth straight victory and improving to 5-1 on the season.


          Esch was in control in the beginning and got out of a mini jam in the first when he gave up a two-out double to Joe Benson.  Esch struck out Craig Maddox to end the inning.


          In the fourth Esch pitched around another jam when the Dogs loaded the bases with two outs on a single by Wilfredo Rodgrigez, a double by Trayson Vavra, and a walk to Matt Dean.  Esch, however, would get Kyle Gaedele to end the inning. 


          The Saints offense once again wound up with timely hits and, in the third, Justin O’Conner led off with a single and scored on an RBI double from Kes Carter making it 1-0 Saints.


          After the Dogs tied it in the fifth, the Saints answered in the bottom of the inning when Dante Bichette Jr. reached on an infield single to third.  O’Conner struck again with a two-run homer to left, his second of the season, making it 3-1 Saints.  O’Conner finished the night 3-3 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.


          The Saints added two more in the sixth when, with Jayce Boyd at first and two outs, Noah Perio Jr. reached on an error by the third baseman Matt Telesco.  With runners at the corners, Perio Jr. advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Bichette Jr. lined a two-run single off the glove of the leaping second baseman Edwin Arroyo giving the Saints a 5-1. 


          In the seventh Esch got the first two hitters, but a single by Michael Baca was followed by a two-run homer from Joe Benson, his second of the season.  Esch went 6.2 innings allowing three runs on six hits while walking two and striking out seven.


The Saints bullpen finished it off from there pitching 2.1 perfect innings of relief with Mike Devine picking up his first save of the season, but not before a little help from his defense.  With one out Carter made a phenomenal diving catch in right-center for the second out.  The final out came with a little flair as Baca hit a grounder off the foot of Devine, that ricocheted to third baseman Bichette Jr, who barehanded the ball and fired to first just in time to end the game.


The Saints have Thursday off and begin a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore Railcats on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (0-0, 3.60) to the mound against Railcats RHP Chuck Weaver (0-0, 2.46).  It is Stranger Things Night with along with Xcel Energy Friday Night Fireworks.  Plus the first 5,000 fans receive a magnet schedule.  The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on Alt 93.3 FM.