Saints Hit Halfway Point With 2-1 Win And 16.0 Game Lead In DivisionST. PAUL, MN July 13, 2015
SAINTS HIT HALFWAY POINT OF SEASON WITH 2-1 WIN AND 16.0 GAME LEAD IN DIVISION
WINNIPEG, MB (July 13, 2015) – The St. Paul Saints still haven’t lost a series in 2015 and they have reached the halfway point of the season with a sizeable lead in the North Division. The Saints Kramer Sneed and Winnipeg Goldeyes Matt Jackson were locked in a great pitcher’s duel and a solo homer by Angelo Songco proved to be the difference in a 2-1 victory on Monday night at Shaw Park. With the win the Saints are 38-12, their best record after 50 games, and a 16.0 game lead in the North Division.
The Saints left-hander Sneed has had trouble in the first innings of games this season, giving up six runs in his last two outings in the first. He entered play, though, with the ninth best ERA in the league. In the first he got into a bit of a jam when he walked the second hitter of the game, Adam Heisler. Heisler then tried to steal second, but Sneed threw to first. Songco’s throw to second, however, went into left field and Heisler stayed at second. Casey Haerther followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Sneed struck out the next two hitters to end the inning.
In the fourth Sneed got into another jam when he loaded the bases with two outs. With one out he walked Heisler again. With two outs Jon Weber and Josh Mazzola singled to load the bases. Sneed once again got the strikeout getting Ryan Babineau looking.
The Saints gave Sneed the lead in the fourth when Alonzo Harris walked. He advanced to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Jackson. With two outs Ian Gac hit a hot smash off the chest of shortstop Robby Spencer for an RBI single and a 1-0 lead.
The Goldeyes tied it in the bottom of the inning when Brady Wilson led off with a walk. He attempted to steal second, Sneed threw over to first and once again Songco’s throw went into left field. This time Wilson went to third. Brad Boyer followed with an RBI single to tie the game at one. Spencer sacrificed Boyer to second and with two outs Heisler singled to center. Boyer attempted to score, but Harris threw out Boyer trying to score. That would be the last hit Sneed would allow as he retired the last nine batters he faced going 7.0 innings allowing one run on six hits while walking three and striking out a season tying high eight.
With the Saints having just two hits against Jackson threw six innings, Songco atoned for his throwing error in the seventh. With one out he crushed a hanging breaking ball over the right field wall, his eighth of the season, to give the Saints a 2-1 lead. Songco went 3-4 with a home run, RBI and a run scored.
Unlike Saturday night the Saints made the one run stand up. In the eighth with the leadoff man on with a single, left-handed pitcher Alex Sogard got lefty Jon Weber to ground into a fielder’s choice. Sogard left after facing one batter and Mike Zouzalik took over. He got Josh Mazzola to ground into an inning ending double play.
In the ninth Ryan Rodebaugh retired the side in order to pick up his 12th save of the season.
Sneed becomes the first pitcher in the American Association to reach nine wins and the win is a new single-season career high.
The Saints take Tuesday off and begin a four game series at Sioux Falls Stadium against the Sioux Falls Canaries on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Jeff Shields (7-0, 3.26) to the mound. The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.