Getting to CHS Field

Saints Set American Association With 22nd One-Run Victory, 7-6, Magic Number Down To Three

ST. PAUL, MN August 26, 2019

The St. Paul Saints didn’t need a walk-off on Monday night at CHS Field in front of 6,146.  A big three-run home run by Brady Shoemaker in the seventh gave the Saints their first lead of the night as they rallied to win 7-6 over the Chicago Dogs and reduce their magic number to clinch a playoff spot down to three.  The win improves the Saints to 59-34 on the season and increased their lead on the Chicago Dogs to 5.0 games with seven to play.  The Saints are 2.0 games behind the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for the North Division lead (the RedHawks were still in action at the time of this writing).  The one-run victory was the 22nd of the season for the Saints, breaking an American Association record that had been set by the 2009 Wichita Wingnuts.  It also tied the record for most one-run games played in a season with those Wingnuts, at 37.

          In the first two games of the series the Saints never trailed, only to lose a lead in the ninth, before eventually winning the game.  On Monday they had to come from behind.  Trailing 6-4 in the seventh, Casey Crosby began his second inning of relief.  After striking out the leadoff hitter, Crosby walked Dan Motl and Michael Lang.  Crosby departed for Rich Mascheri, whom the Saints scored two runs off of on Sunday evening.  Brady Shoemaker unloaded on a three-run homer to left, his 17th of the season, giving the Saints their first lead of the night.

          The Saints turned to Ryan Schlosser in the eighth, who had not pitched in 15 days.  He promptly retired the side in order, getting the final out on a nice play by shortstop Blake Schmit in the hole.

          In the ninth Tanner Kiest came on to close it out.  He had blown the save on Saturday night, but got a ground out, fly out and then struck out the league leader in home runs, Keon Barnum, to end the game, and earn his sixth save of the season.

          The night began with a match-up of the fourth best pitcher in the league in Saints starter Eddie Medina, against former 12-year Major Leaguer Carlos Zambrano.  Both guys gave up home runs in the first.  Medina walked leadoff hitter David Olmedo-Barrera.  With one out, and Olmedo-Barrera at second, Medina intentionally walked Barnum and then walked Victor Roache to load the bases.  Kelly Dugan then crushed a grand slam to right, his fifth of the season and first of the night, giving the Dogs their first lead of the series at 4-0.

          The Saints got three of them back in the bottom of the inning when Michael Lang reached when first baseman Trey Vavra dropped a throw from the shortstop Gustavo Pierre.  Shoemaker walked and, with two outs, John Silviano clubbed a three-run shot to right, his 11th of the season, cutting the deficit to 4-3.

          The Saints tied the game in the fourth when Chesny Young singled with two outs.  He moved to second on a Schmit single and scored on Mike Aiello’s single to right. 

          The Dogs took the lead right back in the fifth when Roache led off the inning with an infield single to third and Dugan hit his second homer of the night, and sixth of the season, a two-run shot to right making it 6-4 Dogs.  Medina would settle down after that retiring nine of his last 10 as he went 7.0 innings allowing six runs on eight hits while walking four and striking out three.

          On the other side, Zambrano lasted 5.0 innings allowing four runs (one earned) on eight hits while walking one and striking out one.

          The same two teams meet in the finale of the four-game series at CHS Field on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send LHP Jordan Jess (6-0, 3.44) to the mound against Dogs LHP Austin Wright (6-7, 4.09).  It is Athletically Incorrect Night.  The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities area.