Saints Get Franchise Win 999 In Emphatic Fashion With 11-3 Victory Over ExplorersST. PAUL, MN May 19, 2014
SAINTS GET FRANCHISE WIN 999 IN EMPHATIC FASHION WITH 11-3 VICTORY OVER EXPLORERS
SIOUX CITY, IA (May 19, 2014) – The St. Paul Saints haven’t approached nearly 1,000 wins in franchise history with just one player or a couple of key contributors. It was a collective whole over 22 years and on Monday night at Lewis and Clark Park each player contributed to the franchises 999th win in an 11-3 romp of the Sioux City Explorers.
The Saints offense, which came into the game second in the American Association in batting average, saw all nine guys collect at least one hit, all score at least one run, seven of nine guys collect an RBI and five of nine have a multi-hit game. The top three guys in the order, Evan Bigley, Joe Bonfe and Brandon Tripp all collected three hits going a collective 9-17. The 11 runs and 17 hits were both season highs early on in the year.
Not to be lost in the offensive explosion was starting pitcher Jeff Shields, who the Saints picked up in a trade last week with the Can-Am League’s Trois Rivieres Aigles. Shields led the Can-Am League in ERA in 2013 and he showed why on Monday night. Shields worked 5.2 innings allowing two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out six. He worked around a bases loaded two-out jam in the fourth. The lone two runs he gave up came in the sixth on an RBI double by Peter Barrows and an RBI single from Nate Samson. Both came with two outs and the latter hit was the last batter Shields faced.
Those two runs didn’t matter because the Saints offense was red hot from the beginning. They jumped out Explorers starter Ryan Mitchell in the second when Willie Cabrera led off with a walk. With one out Joey Becker singled Cabrera to second. Carlos Escobar’s double gave the Saints a 1-0 lead. Devin Thaut added an RBI single to make it 2-0 and then the fake to third move by Mitchell, which was instituted as a balk a year ago, allowed the third run of the inning to score and make it 3-0.
With the Saints leading 4-0 in the sixth they put up three more when Angelo Songco and Becker started the inning with back-to-back singles. Escobar’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners up. Thaut added his second RBI of the game with a sac fly to make it 5-0. Bigley and Tripp added RBI singles to make it 7-0
The Saints poured it on in the eighth with a four run inning on an RBI double from Tripp, a two-run single by Henry Wrigley and a sac fly from Songco to finish the scoring
The Saints will look to become the fifth franchise in Independent League history to win their 1,000th game in franchise history when they take on the Explorers in game two of the three games series on Tuesday morning at 11:05 a.m. The Saints send RHP Anthony Claggett (1-0, 0.00) to the mound against Explorers RHP Greg Holt (0-1, 7.50). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.