Saints Take Three Out Of Four From RedHawks With 7-3 VictoryST. PAUL, MN July 10, 2016
When you are the team with the target on your back the goal is to continue to win series, especially ones within the division. With a big four game showdown against division rivals, the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, the St. Paul Saints did exactly that. They got a solid start from Alec Crawford, incredible relief from Mike Strong and Benji Waite and the offense had their best game of the series in a 7-3 win on Sunday afternoon at Newman Outdoor Field. The win gave the Saints three out of four, improved their record to a league best 35-16 and pushed the RedHawks 9.0 games back in the division.
The Saints got it started in the second when Alonzo Harris, hitting in the number four spot in the order for the second time this season, singled into left field. He stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Breland Almadova walked and then stole second. The stolen bases proved big because Aaron Gretz singled to left-center scoring both runners and giving the Saints a 2-0 lead.
The RedHawks made it 2-1 in the second when Josh Mazzola hit a solo homer to left, his 13th of the season.
The Saints responded right back in the third and it started with Angelo Songco. On a 3-0 pitch he got the green light and crushed one over the right field wall, his 10th of the season, to make it 3-1. Alonzo Harris followed with a double to left and Nate Hanson singled him to third, with Hanson taking second on the throw to the cutoff man. A wild pitch scored Harris and sent Hanson to third making it 4-1. A passed ball scored Hanson to make it 5-1.
In the bottom of the fourth the RedHawks tried to make a game of it. Ryan Pineda led off with a double to left and scored on a single from Keury De La Cruz. It was the only hit of the series for De La Cruz who came into the series hitting .367. Mazzola then hit a routine fly ball to left, but Willie Argo couldn’t see it in the sun and the ball dropped for a single, putting runners at first and second. A ground out to first put runners at second and third. Dustin Geiger’s single to left scored De La Cruz making it 5-3. Crawford then walked Kes Carter to load the bases, but in the biggest spot of the game Crawford struck out Luke Bailey and retired Bryan Johns on a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Crawford went 5.0 innings allowing three runs on six hits while walking two and striking out four.
The Saints bullpen did the rest. Mike Strong, who was pitching at Double-A Chattanooga in the Minnesota Twins system this season, tossed 3.0 shutout innings allowing one hit. Benji Waite pitched a perfect ninth.
The Saints would tack on two insurance runs in the seventh when Gretz led off with a single. He finished the day 2-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Gretz was sacrificed to second by Sam Maus and Gretz scored on a triple by Tanner Vavra to make it 6-2. Songco’s fly ball to center was dropped by Carter allowing Vavra to score giving the Saints a four run cushion.
The Saints will get Monday off and begin a three game series on Tuesday night at CHS Field against the Sioux Falls Canaries at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP John Straka (6-2, 5.81) to the mound against Canaries LHP Kris Regas (3-2, 5.66). It is the Squat-A-Lot-A-Thon presented by Twin Cities Orthopedics as the Saints attempt to set a Guinness Book of World Record for most people doing squats in one place. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB.