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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Overcome Their Kryptonite In 10-5 Victory

ST. PAUL, MN August 11, 2017

The St. Paul Saints faced their kryptonite, Sioux Falls Canaries left-handed pitcher Joe Bircher, at CHS Field on Friday night in front of 9,318. The Saints were able to score seven runs on 10 hits against the starter on their way to a 10-5 victory. The win improves the Saints to 42-35 and they are now tied for second in the North Division with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. They are 3.0 games back of the Winnipeg Goldeyes in the North Division and 3.5 games behind the Kansas City T-Bones in the Wild Card.


          No matter who has worn the Saints uniform since 2014, the first year Bircher faced the Saints, no team has had success against the lefty. This season, he has allowed just three runs in the 19.0 innings he has pitched against the Saints. Bircher tossed 5.0 innings and allowed seven runs on 10 hits while walking two and striking out two.


          With the Saints trailing by two in the bottom of the first, Breland Almadova reached on a one-out single to right field. Nate Hanson then blasted his 12th home run of the season over the left field wall, tying the game at two.


          Tanner Lubach hit his first home run of the season, and of the night, in the second inning with a two-out solo shot to make it 3-2.


          Kes Carter reached on a leadoff triple in the fourth inning after the right fielder, Burt Reynolds, overran the fly ball and it bounced off the wall. Carter scored when the next batter, Mitch Delfino, hit a sacrifice fly to left field.


          Most of the damage was done by the Saints in the sixth inning. Carter led off with a double down the right field line then moved to third on a single by Delfino. Lubach walked to load the bases and that ended the night for Bircher. With the bases loaded and no outs, Dylan Thompson came in relief for the Canaries, but gave up back-to-back RBI singles to JJ Gould and Oh and the Saints led 6-4. Tim Colwell entered the game as a pinch hitter and walked with the bases loaded to force in a run making it 7-4. Nate Hanson then grounded into a double play that scored the fourth run of the inning, and the Saints led 8-4.


          In the seventh, Tony Thomas reached on a leadoff single to left field then advanced to second on a stolen base. With two outs, Lubach hit his second homerun of the night, and of the season, to extend the Saints lead 10-4.


          The bullpen did their job as Brandon Peterson earned the win in relief and did not allow a run in his 2.0 innings of work. Vinny Nittoli struck out two batters in a perfect inning of relief. Chandler Hawkins did not give up an earned run and struck out two in his inning of work.


          The same two teams meet again tomorrow night at CHS Field at 7:05 p.m. for game three of the four game series. RHP Jason Hoppe (0-0, 4.91) will be on the mound for the Saints and the Canaries will send LHP Bo Hellquist (1-1, 3.25). Fans can bring in their non-perishable food items for the Food Drive sponsored by Minnesota Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities and heard on BOB FM.