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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Give Up Season Tying High 17 Hits, Lose To Explorers 8-5

ST. PAUL, MN June 28, 2017

For just the third time this season the St. Paul Saints lost back-to-back games.  They gave up a hit in every hitting, a season tying 17, and fell to the Sioux City Explorers 8-5 on Wednesday night at CHS Field in front of 6,575.  The loss dropped the Saints to 25-13, but maintained a 6.0 game lead in the North Division.


          For the second consecutive night the Saints never led and the Explorers jumped out in front with three in the second inning.  A night after committing four errors the Saints had three more on Wednesday and it started when pitcher Jason Creasy had a throwing error on a tapper by LeVon Washington in the second.  Joe Bennie doubled him to third and Dylan Kelly’s RBI groundout gave the Explorers a 1-0 lead.  Jonathan Gonzalez made it 2-0 with an RBI single and two batters later an RBI fielder’s choice by Tony Campana made it 3-0.


          The play of the game, and perhaps the season, occurred in the bottom of the second.  The Saints loaded the bases with two outs on singles by Brady Shoemaker and Tim Colwell and a walk to Maxx Garrett.  Jon Kristoffersen then hit a drive to right-center, but Campana, the former Major Leaguer, came out of nowhere, left his feet and with a full extension dive made a spectacular, highlight reel catch to end the inning.


          The Explorers used that momentum in the third as Brian Fortier led off with a double to center.  Washington singled him to third.  A sacrifice fly by Bennie made it 4-0.  An RBI double by Kelly and an RBI single from Gonzalez gave the Explorers a 6-0 lead.


          With the Saints down 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth they attempted a comeback.  Danny Oh led off with a double to left.  Tanner Vavra dropped down a bunt single to put runners at the corners with nobody out.  An RBI groundout by Nate Hanson made it 6-2.  Shoemaker then crushed a two-run homer to right, his 10th of the season, to make it 6-4.  Shoemaker finished the night 3-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.


          The Explorers tacked on insurance runs in the seventh and eighth on an RBI single by Campana and a fielding error by Hanson at third, respectively, to make it 8-4.


          The Saints other run came on a solo homer by Tony Thomas, his 10th of the season, in the eighth.


          The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field.  The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (6-1, 2.93) to the mound against Explorers LHP Cody Forsythe (3-1, 3.99).  It is True North Night Part I presented by Valleyfair.  The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB.