Getting to CHS Field

Saints End Three Game Losing Streak In Emphatic Fashion With 12-1 Win Over Explorers

ST. PAUL, MN July 4, 2017

That’s one way to end the longest losing streak of the season.  The St. Paul Saints lost their previous three games, but made sure it wouldn’t get to four.  All, but one Saints starter collected a hit and Anthony Gallas fell a double shy of the cycle in a 12-1 victory over the Sioux City Explorers at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park.  The Saints pounded out a season tying high 18 hits en route to improving to 28-16 and increased their lead in the North Division to 5.5 games.


          With the Saints leading 1-0 in the fourth Gallas led off with a solo homer to left, his 10th of the season.  Gallas has homered in three straight games for the second time in his career and becomes the 19th different player to accomplish the feat in franchise history.  Two players, Chad Ehrnsberger and Brian Buchanan, did it twice.  The last Saints player to homer in three straight games was Nate Hanson, August 11-13, 2016.  The Saints, who lead the league in long balls, now have three players with 10 or more homers.  With one out Kes Carter joined the home run party with a solo home run to right, his second with the Saints and seventh of the season, giving the Saints a 3-0 lead.  Maxx Garrett followed with a double to right and, with two outs, Brady Burzynski singled him home to make it 4-0.


          The Saints poured it on in the fifth with a four spot.  With one out Brady Shoemaker doubled to right-center and Gallas knocked him home with a triple to make it 5-0.  Tony Thomas made it 6-0 with an RBI single to left-center.  An infield single by Carter put runners at first and second and Explorers starter Cody Forsythe departed.  Reliever Keith Picht didn’t fare much better giving up a two-run double to Jon Kristoffersen that gave the Saints an 8-0 lead. 


          The Saints added one more four run inning in the eighth as Nate Hason led off with a solo homer to left, his seventh of the season, to make it 9-1.  Hanson finished the night 3-6 with a home run, RBI and a run scored.  The Saints then loaded the bases with back-to-back singles from Shoemaker and Gallas and a walk to Thomas.  Carter and Garrett followed with RBI singles to make it 11-1 and Kristoffersen’s RBI groundout finished the scoring.


          The only drama left in the game was whether Gallas would become the first Saints player to hit for the cycle.  He came up in the ninth against sidearm reliever Ryan Flores.  Flores managed to get Gallas on strikes.  Gallas finished the night 3-5, a double shy of the cycle, with three RBI and three runs scored.  He is now hitting .362 on the season.


          It was another solid night for Saints starter Mark Hamburger who won for the sixth straight start and won for his league best eighth time.  Hamburger managed to pitch out of a third inning jam when he gave up back-to-back singles to Tony Campana and Nate Sampson to lead off the inning.  A fly out by Jayce Ray advanced both runners, but Hamburger struck out Joe Bennie and ended the inning with a pop out of LeVon Washington.


          Hamburger retired nine in a row until the sixth when he walked Ray.  With one out he walked Washington to put runners at first and second.  Dylan Kelly doubled to right scoring both runs, but the Saints appealed Washington not touching third and he was ruled out.  Hamburger went 7.0 innings allowing one run on five hits while walking three and striking out six while improving to 8-1.


          Robert Coe made his season debut and pitched a hitless, scoreless eighth inning.  In the ninth he gave up a leadoff single to Kelly and a double to Josh Vitters that put runners on second and third.  Coe, however, struck out the next two hitters and got Campana to fly out to end the game.


          The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park.  The Saints send RHP Benji Waite (2-0, 2.00) to the mound against Explorers RHP Kurt Heyer (2-4, 4.95).  The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.