Long Travel No Problem As Saints Soar Past Canaries 5-4ST. PAUL, MN June 9, 2016
The St. Paul Saints travelled 782 miles following Wednesday night’s game in Amarillo, the longest they will travel from one city to another this year. It didn’t seem to have any ill effect as they defeated the Sioux Falls Canaries 5-4 on Thursday night at Sioux Falls Stadium. They improved to 14-8 on the season and 6-5 on the 14 game roadtrip, the longest in franchise history.
The Saints were facing Stephen Bougher, who was 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA against them in his career. He had never given up more than three runs in any start against the Saints and it looked like they would jump all over him early. In the second inning the Saints loaded the bases with nobody out and it started with a Tony Thomas single. He extended his hitting streak to 21 consecutive games, tied for the fourth longest in Saints history with Saul Bustos who did it in 1999. A single by Mike Gilmartin and a walk to Willie Argo loaded the bases with nobody out. Aaron Gretz hit a grounder to second, but Frank Martinez bobbled it and could only get the out at first with Thomas scoring make it 1-0. Bougher would strike out the next two hitters to get out of the jam.
In the fourth Gilmartin led off with a double and, with one out, Gretz singled him home to give the Saints a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth the Saints once again loaded the bases with nobody out, but managed just one run. Brady Burzynski led off with a walk and Nate Hanson followed with a single. Back-to-back walks to Angelo Songco and Thomas forced in a run and gave the Saints a 3-0 lead. Gilmartin would foul out to the catcher and Argo grounded into an inning ending double play. Bougher went 5.0 innings allowing three runs on six hits while walking five and striking out four. He would eventually take the loss, the first time the Saints have beaten him.
Saints starter Robert Coe was strong through four innings getting two double plays in the second and the fourth. In the fifth, however, he gave up a hard single to Taylor Zeutenhorst off the glove of first baseman Songco. With one out Martinez hit a two run homer to right, his fourth of the season, to make it 3-2.
The Saints made it 4-2 in the seventh when Hanson doubled off of reliever Jimmer Kennedy. Hanson advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Gilmartin’s sac fly to right.
In the bottom of the seventh Martin led off with a base hit to center and hustled to second for a double. After a groundout by Ethan Champan moved him to third Coe was removed for Caleb Thielbar. He got Ozney Guillen to ground out, but that scored Martinez to make it 4-3. Coe went 6.1 innings allowing three runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out one. He would earn the win and is now just six victories shy of breaking the all-time franchise wins mark of 40 set by Charlie Ruud (2005-09).
The Saints got a big insurance run in the eighth when Harris doubled to left center and took third when center fielder Chapman bobbled the ball. It proved to be costly as Burzynski’s scoring fly ball brought home Harris to make it 5-3.
Ryan Rodebaugh came on in the ninth for the save, but he gave up a leadoff double to Nolan Johnson. With two outs Guillen knocked home Johnson with a base hit off the glove of second baseman Sam Maus to make it a one run game. Rodebaugh, however, would get .354 hitter David Bergin to line out to left to end the game and earn his sixth save of the season.
The same two teams meet Friday night in game two of the four game series at Sioux Falls Stadium at 7:05 p.m. The Saints are TBA while the Canaries send LHP Misael Siverio (1-2, 5.70) to the mound. The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.