Saints Close Out Longest Roadtrip In Franchise History With Sweep of Canaries, 4-0ST. PAUL, MN June 12, 2016
The St. Paul Saints handed the ball to a rookie left-handed pitcher making just his second professional start and fifth appearance of his career. Kody Knaus, a Concordia-St. Paul graduate, was stellar in 5.2 shutout innings, earned his first professional win and the Saints finished off a four game sweep of the Sioux Falls Canaries with a 4-0 shutout on Sunday evening at Sioux Falls Stadium. The Saints ended their longest roadtrip in franchise history, 14 games, by winning five in a row and finished 9-5 on the trip and have the best record in the American Association at 17-8.
Knaus didn’t run into too much trouble and through the first four innings allowed just one runner as far as second base. In the fifth, he made the pitches when needed. With two outs he walked Aaron Owen and gave up a single to Michael Pair that sent Owen to third. Facing .345 hitter Blake Schmit, Knaus got Schmit to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
In the sixth Knaus gave up a leadoff single to Ethan Chapman and, with one out, he walked Chris Grayson. After getting Jake Taylor to fly out for the second out Knaus was removed for reliever Caleb Thielbar. Ozney Guillen would strikeout against Thielbar to end the inning. Knaus went 5.2 shutout innings allowing five hits while walking two and striking out three.
Thielbar and Cody Wheeler did the rest with Thielbar going 2.1 shutout innings allowing one hit and striking out two while Wheeler pitched a perfect ninth and struck out two.
The Saints got all the offense they needed in the first. Breland Almadova reached on a bunt up along the first base line that was fielded by Canaries pitcher Joe Bircher, but he couldn’t corral it and Almadva was aboard on what was initially ruled a hit and then later changed to an error. He stole second and scored on a single by Angelo Songco to make it 1-0. Tony Thomas then drilled a 3-0 pitched over the left field wall, his eighth of the season, to make it 3-0. Thomas extended his hitting streak to 24 games, only four shy of Cory Harris’ franchise record of 28 from May 27-June 25, 2003. Thomas also has an RBI in a career high eight straight games.
The Saints added an insurance run in the seventh when Sam Maus walked, advanced to second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and scored on Nate Hanson’s two-out single.
The nine wins are the most on any roadtrip in franchise history tying the 2011 mark when they went 9-4 on their previous longest roadtrip. The shutout was the second of the season.
The Saints now head home for the first time in two weeks and take on the Sioux City Explorers on Monday night at CHS Field at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (4-0, 2.52) to the mound against Explorers RHP Graham Johnson (3-0, 2.02). It is Metropolitan State University Variety Show Monday with special guest emcee Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and musical guest Har Mar Superstar. The game can be heard on BOB FM, 106.1 in the Twin Cities, 107.5 in Rochester and 105.5 in St. Cloud. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities.