Saints Road Win Streak Comes To A Screeching Halt In 13-5 Loss To ExplorersST. PAUL, MN June 20, 2016
The St. Paul Saints crushed three home runs in the first four innings, but the Sioux City Explorers did all of the hitting late as the Saints had their regular season record tying high eight game road winning streak come to an end 13-5 on Monday night at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park.
With the Saints leading 5-4 in the seventh the Explorers sent 10 men to the plate and scored six runs to take the lead for good. Reliever Cody Wheeler, who had not given up a run in 9.0 consecutive innings after getting the leadoff man out in the seventh, gave up three straight singles to the top three in the order. Wheeler departed for Gene Escat, but he walked the first man he faced, Nate Samson, to force in the tying run. Tommy Mendonca hit a grounder to second that took a high hop on Alonzo Harris and he was able to field it, but his throw to second pulled Tony Thomas off the bag and Michael Lang scored to make it 6-5 Explorers. With two outs Tony Colwell hit a fly ball to right that sent Chad Christenson in front of the warning track as the ball glanced off his glove for a bases clearing triple to make it 9-5. A wild pitch by Escat allowed Colwell to score and make it 10-5.
Alonzo Harris led off the game with a solo home run on the second pitch of the game, his eighth of the season, to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
The Explorers answered with two in the bottom of the inning when Matty Johnson led off with a walk. He stole second and advanced to third on a single by Michael Lang. Noah Perio tied it up with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Nate Samson gave the Explorers a 2-1 lead.
Tony Caldwell, who was named American Association Player of the Week on Monday, homered for the third straight game, his sixth of the season, with two outs in the second inning to tie the game at two. He becomes the 17th different player in Saints history, and the 19th time in the franchise’s history, to accomplish the feat. No player has homered in four straight.
In the third the Saints got their lone run that wasn’t by way of the long ball when Breland Almadova walked and, with two outs, moved to second on a single from Angelo Songco. Tony Thomas followed with an RBI single to make it 3-2 Saints.
With the game tied at three in the fourth Chad Christensen singled and Maxx Garrett crushed a two-run homer to left, his first of the season, to give the Saints a 5-3 lead.
The Saints pitchers walked nine and gave up 13 hits. The offense failed to collect a hit after the fifth and Explorers pitchers retired the final 14 Saints hitters.
The same two teams meet in the second game of the three game series on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (3-1, 4.40) against Explorers RHP Ryan Zimmerman (2-3, 7.66). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.