Saints Take Down Last Remaining Unbeaten, With 5-3 Win Over CanariesST. PAUL, MN May 24, 2016
Last season during the St. Paul Saints improbable 74-26 season they won their first four before losing the fifth game of the season. They rattled off 10 straight after that. The 2016 version is hoping for a similar script. A night after losing their first game of the season, the fifth of the year, they defeated the lone remaining unbeaten team in the American Association downing the Sioux Falls Canaries 5-3 on Tuesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium.
With the Saints trailing 3-1 in the sixth they finally got to Canaries starter Misael Siverio. With one out Nate Hanson singled and Tony Thomas followed with a double to put runners at second and third. Siverio departed for reliever Shane Street and was promptly greeted by a two-run triple from Tony Caldwell to tie the game at three. Caldwell finished the night 2-4 with a double, triple, two RBI and a run scored. Tanner Vavra followed with an RBI single that gave the Saints their first lead of the series at 4-3.
In the seventh Breland Almadova gave the Saints a little breathing room with a solo homer to left, his first of the season.
Saints starter Mark Hamburger struggled in the first, but was superb after that. In the first Chris Grayson hit a hard liner that shortstop Tony Thomas snagged for the first out. With two outs Jerome Pena rocketed a single off the right field wall and David Bergin followed with a two-run homer to left, his third of the season, to make it 2-0 Canaries.
In the second Ethan Chapman led off with a single to right and advanced to third on a single from Frank Martinez. An errant pickoff attempt to first allowed Chapman to score from third giving the Canaries a 3-0 lead. Hamburger settled down after that. He faced the minimum in the third through fifth before wiggling out of trouble in the sixth.
With two out and one on Hamburger walked back-to-back hitters to load the bases, but got Martinez to ground out to end the inning.
In the seventh with the Saints up 5-3 he walked the leadoff hitter and gave up a one out single to Bergin. After striking out Cameron Monger, Caleb Thielbar relieved Hamburger. Chapman loaded the bases with an infield single, but Thielbar got Martinez to hit a ground ball into the hole at short and third that Tony Thomas fielded on the backhand and threw to second to end the inning. Hamburger went 7.2 innings allowing three runs on six hits while walking three and striking out six to improve to 2-0.
Ryan Rodebaugh picked up his second save of the season by retiring the first two in the ninth, then after a single, he got Blake Schmit to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
The Saints tacked on their first run in the fourth when Alonzo Harris hit his second homer of the season, a solo shot to left.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series Wednesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (1-0, 3.18) against Canaries RHP Shawn Blackwell (1-0, 3.18). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.