Getting to CHS Field

Saints Lose Another One Late, Drop Third Straight To Canaries 6-3

ST. PAUL, MN July 12, 2017

On Monday night it was the seventh inning.  On Tuesday night it was the eighth.  On Wednesday afternoon at CHS Field in front of 9,006 it was the ninth.  Two more walks by the St. Paul Saints bullpen and the Sioux Falls Canaries capitalized yet again.  For the third straight game the Saints lost to the Canaries 6-3.  The loss dropped the Saints to 30-21 and their lead in the North currently sits at 2.5 games with Winnipeg playing later tonight.


          With the game tied at two in the ninth Caleb Thielbar, who had allowed one run and nine hits while walking two in 21.2 innings this year, led off the inning by walking the leadoff man Brett Marr.  He came back to strike out the next two, but then issued a free pass to Chris Jacobs.  Burt Reynolds did the initial damage with a two-run double to center giving the Canaries a 4-2 lead.  Blake Schmit singled to right scoring Reynolds to make it 5-2.  Trey Vavra followed with a single to right putting runners at first and second and Aaron Gretz finished off the day for Thielbar with an RBI single to left to make it 6-2. Thielbar went 0.2 innings allowing four runs on four hits while walking two and striking out two.


          The Saints managed a Tim Colwell solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, his third of the season, but couldn’t manage anything else.


          The game proved to be another pitcher’s duel as Ryan Zimmerman went for the Saints against Joe Bircher, who was 2-2 with a 2.20 ERA in eight career games against the Saints.  Neither team scored through the first five innings, but both teams loaded the bases in the fifth, but couldn’t score.  In the top of the fifth Zimmerman walked Gretz and Louis Mele reached on a fielding error by second baseman Tony Thomas.  Zimmerman then hit Marr for the second time in the game to load the bases.  Jabari Henry, however, lined out to Thomas at second, who stepped on the second base bag for the double play to end the inning.


          The Saints returned the favor in the bottom of the inning as Mitch Delfino led off with a single to left.  Kes Carter dropped down a bunt single towards second that put runners on first and second.  A sacrifice bunt by Maxx Garrett and a walk to Jon Kristoffersen loaded the bases.  Bircher, however, struck out Colwell and Thomas to end the inning.


          In the sixth Zimmerman tied and set dubious records.  He hit back-to-back batters to start the inning.  After a strikeout of Reynolds, Zimmerman hit Schmit to load the bases.  Zimmerman tied the American Association record for most hit batsmen in an inning with three, tying Kevin Bower of El Paso in 2006 and Wichita’s Nick Singleton in 2011.  He also broke the Saints and American Association single-game record’s by hitting five guys in the game.  The Saints record was three, done seven times, the last by Kramer Sneed on June 7, 2015 vs. Sioux Falls, and the American Association record was four done several times.  Trey Vavra gave the Canaries a 1-0 lead with an RBI single to left.  Zimmerman left the game for Jason Hoppe who got Gretz to hit a grounder to Delfino at first and he recorded the force out at the plate.  Hoppe then struck out Louis Mele to end the inning.  Zimmerman went 5.1 innings allowing one run on two hits while walking two, striking out five and hitting five batters.


          The Saints tied it in the bottom of the inning when Brady Shoemaker led off with a double and scored on a one out double by Nate Hanson.  With two outs Hanson moved to third on a wild pitch, but Bircher struck out Kes Carter to end the inning.  Bircher went 7.0 innings allowing one run on five hits while walking one and striking out a season high eight.


          The Canaries took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth when Schmit hit a solo homer to left off of Peterson, Schmit’s second of the season.


          In the bottom of the inning Shoemaker answered with a solo homer of his own, his 11th of the season, off of reliever Andrew Woeck.


          The same two teams meet in the finale of the four game series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field.  The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (9-1, 2.86) to the mound against Canaries RHP Grady Wood (5-1, 2.59).  It is Fun Is Good Summer Camp presented by Hamline University.  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.