Getting to CHS Field

Saints Run Out Of Extra Inning Magic, Lose 7-6 In 11 To AirHogs

ST. PAUL, MN May 31, 2018

The St. Paul Saints once again came up with a huge run in the ninth and for the third consecutive game they went to extra innings, but for the first time on this 10-game roadtrip they fell short.  The Saints lost 7-6 in 11 innings to the Texas AirHogs at AirHogs Stadium on Thursday afternoon.  The loss drops the Saints to 9-4 on the season and they are 3-1 on the 10-game roadtrip.


          With the Saints trailing 6-5 in the ninth, and down to their final out, JJ Gould crushed a solo homer to left, his first of the season, to tie the game at six.


          The Saints best opportunity in extras came in the 11th when Kes Carter reached on a one out infield single to second.  Josh Allen was hit by a pitch with two outs, but Max Murphy lined out to center to end the inning.


          That allowed the AirHogs their opportunity in the bottom of the inning.  Chu Fuija led off with a single to right-center.  With one out he stole second to put the winning run in scoring position.  That proved to be huge because, with two outs, Ryan Wagner hit a grounder up the middle that Noah Perio Jr. made a diving play on, but his throw to first was late in getting Wagner and Chu took the turn from third and scored ahead of first baseman Jayce Boyd’s throw home for the game winning run.


          The two teams traded runs in the first with the Saints scoring a pair on an RBI single by Boyd and a bases loaded walk to Dante Bichette Jr. to give the Saints a 2-0 lead.


          In the bottom of the inning Fuija was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a Stewart Ijames single making it 2-1.


          The Saints took a four-run lead in the third when Perio Jr. and Richard Prigatano led off with back-to-back walks.  Bichette Jr. made it 3-1 with an RBI single.  After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, an RBI single by Gould and an RBI fielder’s choice from Allen made it 5-1 Saints.


          Facing the worst offensive team in the league the Saints four-run lead looked to be safe, but in the bottom of the inning the AirHogs put up five runs off of Saints starter Jeff Malm.  The first five hitters reached on base hits with Meng Weiqiang and Song Yunqi leading off with back-to-back triples to make it 5-2.  Luo Jinjun’s RBI single made it 5-3.  Greg Golson followed with a single to put runners at the corners and Chu made it 5-4 with an RBI single.  With one out Ijames walked to load the bases and Malm left the game for Jake Matthys.  He hit Wagner to force in a run and tie the game at five. Chen Chen then walked to force in the go ahead run making it 6-5.  Malm went 4.1 innings allowing six runs on seven hits while walking five.


          The Saints bullpen had their consecutive scoreless streak end at 25.2 innings when the winning run scored off of Wheeler.  It was also the first time the Saints had played three consecutive extra inning games since September 1-3, 2011 against Winnipeg.  They also went 2-1 in those games.


          The Saints will now head to The Depot at Cleburne Station for a three game series against the Cleburne Railroaders beginning on Friday night at 7:06 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Vinny Nittoli (1-1, 2.38) to the mound while the Railroaders are TBA.  The game can be heard on Alt 93.3 FM.