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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Jones(ing) For A Win, Shutout Explorers 2-0

ST. PAUL, MN May 25, 2019

Spencer Jones waited his turn.  He began the season on the disabled list because roster rules in the American Association only allow you to carry so many players.  Then when he was called into action, he did something he had only done three other times in his 87 career games, he started.  Jones may get many more starts if he turns in performances like he did on Saturday night at CHS Field in front of 9,380.  He blanked the Sioux City Explorers over 5.1 innings as the St. Paul Saints won 2-0.  The win improves the Saints to 6-3 on the season.

          Jones walked the first batter he faced, Michael Lang, but then retired the next 10 before giving up a two out double to Jose Sermo in the fourth.  Jones got Dean Green to fly out to center to end the inning.

          Jones set down the next four hitters before facing his last batter of the night.  Daytona Bryden doubled down the left field line with one out in the sixth and Jones was removed for reliever Landon Beck.  Lang hit a ground ball into the hole between short and third that Joey Wong was able to field on the backhand.  Wong had no play at first, but Bryden tried to score on the play and Wong easily threw him out at the plate.  Jones went 5.1 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking one and striking out four while throwing 61 pitches, 42 for strikes.

          The Saints gave Jones all the run support he would need in the third when Max Murphy unloaded a solo homer to right-center, his third of the season, to make it 1-0 Saints.

          In the fifth, Wong led off with a double to right.  Dan Motl sacrificed him to third and Murphy was walked intentionally.  Chesny Young then hit a grounder to third that Sermo fired to second for the force out, but Nelson Ward couldn’t get the ball out of his glove to try and turn the double play.  That allowed Wong to score giving the Saints a two run lead.

          The Saints bullpen made the two run lead hold up as four pitchers combined to throw 3.2 scoreless innings.  Mike Devine pitched a perfect eighth striking out all three hitters.

          In the ninth, however, closer Todd Van Steensel needed a little help from his friends.  Van Steensel hit the lead off batter Lang.  Nate Samson followed with a single to right putting runners at first and second.  Sermo then flew out to left, but Dean Green worked a walk to load the bases with one out.  Van Steensel struck out Luke Bonfield for the second out of the inning.  That brought up Ward who smoked a line drive that appeared to be destined for right field, but first baseman Devon Rodriguez made a superb diving catch to end the game.

          The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. at CHS Field.  The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (1-0, 3.09) to the mound against Explorers RHP Taylor Jordan (0-1, 13.50).  It is a Memorial Day Celebration with post-game Monster Food Truck Rally and SPIRE-works Super Show.  The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on KSTC-TV (45TV).