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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Figure Out Impact Field Puzzle, Win 4-2, Can Clinch North Division With Win In Final Game On Monday

ST. PAUL, MN September 1, 2019

Finally.  The St. Paul Saints had been outscored 42-14 in their four losses at Impact Field this season.  For the first time this season they won in the home of the Chicago Dogs, 4-2 on Sunday night, and need a win on Monday afternoon or a Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks loss in their final game to claim the North Division title and have the playoffs run through CHS Field.  The win improves the Saints to 63-36 on the season.

          The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first for the second straight night.  Dan Motl led off the game with a walk and stole second, his first of three on the night.  With one out Brady Shoemaker lined a single into left-center scoring Motl and giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.

          Saints starter Jordan Jess was solid in the first three innings.  He got into a mini jam in the second, but got Harrison Smith to ground into a double play to end the inning.

          With the Saints still leading 1-0 in the fourth history was made by Dogs power hitter Keon Barnum.  He drilled a solo homer to right to tie the game at one.  The home run set the single-season American Association record for homers in a season with 31.  He broke Wichita Wingnuts C.J. Ziegler’s record of 30 set in 2010.  It was the lone mistake Jess made all night going 5.2 innings allowing one run on seven hits while walking one and striking out five.

          The tie game didn’t last long as the Saints answered in the next half inning.  Devon Rodriguez, playing in his first game in six weeks, singled to center to extend his hitting streak to nine games.  Blake Schmit gave the Saints the lead with an RBI double to right-center making it 2-1.  Dan Motl’s single moved Schmit to third.  Schmit would score on a passed ball increasing the Saints lead to 3-1.

          The Saints added an important insurance run in the ninth when, with Motl at first and two outs, he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher Rey Gonzalez.  Michael Lang was hit by a pitch and Shoemaker came through with his second RBI single making it 4-1.

          In the bottom of the ninth, however, the Dogs sent the winning run to the plate against Saints closer Tanner Kiest. Harrison Smith led off with a walk.  With two outs and Smith at second, a wild pitch sent him to third.  An infield single by Tony Rosselli scored Smith to cut the Saints lead to two.  A wild pitch sent Rosselli to second and an infield single by Edwin Arroyo advanced Rosselli to third.  That brought up Barnum.  A wild pitch with him at the plate moved the tying run to second.  Kiest, however, would get Barnum to pop out to third to end the game.

          The Saints won for the 30th time on the road this year and, going along with their 33-17 home record, it’s just the second time in franchise history the Saints have won 30 games both at home and on the road.  They also accomplished the feat in 2015 when they went 38-12 at home and 36-14 on the road.

          Also, Brady Shoemaker walked twice, the first one set the single-season franchise walk record.  It was his 77th of the season surpassing Josh Alley’s record of 76 in 2010.

          The same two teams meet in the final game of the regular season at Impact Field on Monday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (7-3, 4.10) against Dogs RHP Justin Goosen-Brown (1-1, 2.48).  The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.