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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Double Up Explorers 10-5

ST. PAUL, MN June 13, 2017

The St. Paul Saints weren’t going to allow another lead to get away against the Sioux City Explorers.  The Saints pounded out 13 hits, scored in each of the first four innings and doubled-up the Explorers 10-5 on Tuesday night at CHS Field in front of 7,323.


          In a battle of two of the top 10 pitchers in the league: Explorers righty Kurt Heyer, who was second in the league in ERA and Saints RHP Mark Hamburger, ninth in the league in ERA, it was the offenses that made noise early.


          The Explorers jumped on Hamburger right away as Michael Lang led off the game with a single to left-center.  Jayce Ray singled Lang to third and Nate Samson’s double gave the Explorers a 1-0 lead.  John Nogowski lifted a sacrifice fly to center to make it 2-0, but Hamburger settled down after that.  He retired nine in a row and cruised through innings two through six.


          The Saints offense answered right back as Danny Oh led off the bottom of the first with a single to center.  With two outs Heyer struggled with his command walking Brady Shoemaker and Anthony Gallas to load the bases.  Tony Thomas tied the game at two with a two-run single to left-center.


          The Saints weren’t done as they took the lead in the second.  With Tanner Vavra on first and one out Oh singled off the leg of the pitcher Heyer.  Breland Almadova extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single to center giving the Saints a 3-2 lead.


          In the third the Saints offense continued to roll against Heyer, who entered play with a 2.14 ERA.  Gallas led off the inning with a walk and, with one out, Tim Colwell laid down a bunt single to third.  With two outs Vavra singled home Gallas to give the Saints a 4-2 lead.  Oh followed with an RBI single of his own to make it 5-2.  Oh finished the night 3-5 with three singles, an RBI and a run scored.


          The Saints used the long ball in the fourth with two, two-run homers.  Shoemaker led off with an infield single to third and Gallas followed with his second home run in as many days, his third of the season, to make it 7-2.  With one out Colwell reached on Samson’s error at short.  Maxx Garrett made the Explorers pay with a two-run blast to left, his second of the season, to make it 9-2.  Heyer went 4.0 innings allowing nine runs (eight earned) on 11 hits while walking five and striking out one.  He entered play having allowed just eight runs in 21.0 innings pitched.


          The game stayed that way until the seventh when the Explorers got a little closer.  Hamburger hit the leadoff man Tyler Ogle and Levon Washington doubled to right that put runners at second and third.  An RBI single by Brandon Alvarez made it 9-3.  Hamburger would get Dylan Kelly to ground into a double play, that scored a run, to make it 9-4.  Hamburger induced three double plays on the night.  He went 7.2 innings allowing five runs on 11 hits while striking out two and improved to 4-1 on the season.


          The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series at 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon at CHS Field.  The Saints start RHP Ryan Zimmerman (2-0, 0.69) against Explorers RHP Alex White (0-0, 8.10).  The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB.