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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Strike Out 15 Times, Lose 2-1 To Railroaders

ST. PAUL, MN June 1, 2017

The St. Paul Saints offense came into Thursday night’s game leading the league in strikeouts with 118 through the first 13 games.  They ran into more tough pitching at The Depot at Cleburne Station and were sent down 15 more times, managed just three hits and didn’t collect their first hit until the seventh and lost the finale of the series to the Cleburne Railroaders 2-1.


          Railroaders starting pitcher Santos Arias had all of his pitches working and retired the first eight men he faced, including four on strikeouts.  The first Saints player to reach was Jon Kristoffersen on a two out error by first baseman Shawn Zarraga.  Arias got out of the inning by striking out Danny Oh.


          In the fourth the Saints got their second baserunner of the night when Brady Shoemaker walked with two outs, but Arias once again fanned the next batter, Tony Thomas.  Thomas went 0-4 with four strikeouts.


          With the Saints trailing 2-0 in the top of the seventh, and without a hit, Nate Hanson ended both the no-hitter and shutout by lining a solo homer over the left field wall, his fourth of the season.  Brady Shoemaker followed with a line drive single to left-center and that was the end for Arias.  Casey Upperman came out of the bullpen and struck out the next three hitters: Thomas, Anthony Gallas and Tim Colwell.  Arias went 6.0+ innings allowing one run on two hits while walking one and striking out eight.


          In the eighth former Major Leaguer, and closer, Winston Abreu came on to pitch.  He struck out the side of Tony Caldwell, Kristoffersen and Oh which made six straight Saints striking out.


          In the ninth the Saints made some noise when Breland Almadova led off with a hot smash off the glove of third baseman Brandon Tierney for a base hit.  Hanson advanced to second on a ground out by Hanson.  With two outs Thomas struck out, but the ball skipped away from the catcher Ermindo Escobar and Almadova went to third while Thomas reached first safely.  Gallas then stepped to the plate and lined a shot to left, but Devan Ahart raced back and made the catch on the warning track to end the game.


          The Saints defense once again became an issue as they committed four errors.  They entered play third from the bottom in fielding percentage.  It started in the first when Maikol Gonzalez led off by being hit by a pitch.  He stole second and the catcher Caldwell’s throw to second glanced off the glove of the shortstop Kristoffersen and into center field sending Gonzalez to third.  With one out Mitch Glasser made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly.


          In the fifth Gonzalez walked and Jason Creasy’s pickoff attempt went into foul territory sending Gonzalez to second.  Ahart sacrificed him to third and Glasser came through again with an RBI single.  Creasy went 6.0 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while walking three and striking out two.


          The Saints begin a three game series against the Salina Stockade on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. at The Depot at Cleburne Station.  The Saints will be the home team for the entire season.  The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (2-1, 2.84) to the mound against Stockade LHP Chris Cummins (0-2, 12.96).  The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.