Record For Saints Manager George Tsamis With Win Number 63 In 6-1 Victory Over ExplorersST. PAUL, MN August 19, 2015
RECORD FOR SAINTS MANAGER GEORGE TSAMIS WITH WIN NUMBER 63 IN 6-1 VICTORY OVER EXPLORERS
ST. PAUL, MN (August 19, 2015) – St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis has been around in the game of baseball for a while. In his 17th season as a manager, 13 with the Saints, he has never won more games than this season. With a 6-1 victory over the Sioux City Explorers on Wednesday afternoon at CHS Field, in front of 7,579, Tsamis surpassed his 62 wins in 2002, when he was manager of the New Jersey Jackals, with the 63rd win of 2015. The Saints extended their win streak to four games, improved to 63-19 and are 2.0 games up on the Explorers for best record in the American Association.
For the second straight game the two starting pitchers were spectacular as the Saints Jeff Shields and the Explorers John Straka matched each other early. The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Willie Argo singled and Vinny DiFazio doubled him to third. An Angelo Songco RBI groundout gave the Saints a 1-0 lead.
In the second sloppy Saints defense led to the lone Explorers run. Noah Perio hit a fly ball into right-center, but neither center fielder Alonzo Harris nor right fielder Mike Kvasnicka took control and the ball fell between the two of them for a double. With two outs, and Perio at third, the Saints tried to intentionally walk Tommy Mendonca, but Shields’ first pitch was high and went off the top of catcher DiFazio’s glove to the backstop allowing Perio to score tying the game at one.
It stayed that way until the fifth when the Explorers defense helped the Saints out. Alonzo Harris led off with a single that went in and out of the glove of a diving left fielder Tim Colwell. His throw into second was off target allowing Harris to reach second on the throwing error. Two wild pitches later and Harris scored to giving the Saints a 2-1 lead.
In the seventh the Saints blew the game open with a four spot, after two were out. With two outs Argo singled and Songco followed with a two-run homer, his 14th of the season, to make it 4-1. Songco finished the day 2-4 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored. He now has a league leading 75 RBI, five shy of tying the single-season franchise record of 80. Mike Kvasnicka followed with a double chasing Straka from the game. Reliever Jimmer Kennedy came in and walked Nate Hanson. Ryan Lashley singled home Kvasnicka to make it 5-1 and Anthony Phillips made it 6-1 with an RBI double.
Shields went 7.0 innings allowing one run on seven hits while walking one and striking out four, improving to 12-2, becoming the third Saints pitcher to reach 12 wins this season. Prior to 2015 the Saints had five pitchers in franchise history reach the 12 win mark.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP Dustin Crenshaw (13-2, 2.03) to the mound while the Explorers are TBA. It is #TBT Celebrating the Colorful History of St. Paul presented by Hamline University. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, heard on Club 1220 KLBB and in the ballpark on 97.9 FM.