Getting to CHS Field

Saints Two-Hit Canaries, Win Fourth Straight 2-1

ST. PAUL, MN June 8, 2018

Perhaps one game soon Matt Solter will get the historic no-hitter he keeps flirting with as for the second consecutive start he put up goose eggs in the “H” column over the first few innings.  For the third consecutive start, however, his offense didn’t give him much run support and he didn’t get a victory, but the Saints got a great defensive play and capitalized on an error while two-hitting the Sioux Falls Canaries in a 2-1 win on Friday night at CHS Field in front of 9,033. The win is the fourth in a row for the Saints and improves their record to 14-6 on the season.  It is also win number 998 for George Tsamis in his managerial career, 815 with the Saints.


          Solter, who tossed 6.0 perfect and 6.2 hitless innings in his last start, retired the first seven men he faced before walking Maxx Garrett with one out.  He retired the next two hitters to end the inning.


          In the fifth Solter still had the no-hitter until a one out bloop single by Tyler Wolfe to right field broke up the bid for history.  The ball landed just in front of right fielder Max Murphy, who started back on the ball, but couldn’t recover in time to make the catch.  Solter didn’t let that bother him as he retired the next two hitters to end the inning.


          With the Saints up 1-0 in the seventh the Canaries were able to tie it, but it could have been much worse.  Burt Reynolds led off the inning by reaching on a throwing error by third baseman Dante Bichette Jr.  Solter, then walked Jordan Smith and hit Wolfe to load the bases.  Solter departed for reliever Beck Wheeler.  He struck out the first batter he faced, but then Garrett tied the game up with a single to left.  With one out and the bases loaded Dan Motle hit a fly ball to left that was plenty deep enough to score Smith from third.  Wolfe, however, tagged from second and Richard Prigatano’s throw got Wolfe at third before Smith could touch the plate keeping the score tied at one.  Solter went 6.0+ innings allowing one unearned run on one hit while walking three and striking out three.


          In the bottom of the seventh the Saints took advantage of an error for the game winning run.  With one out Murphy walked and, with two outs, Brady Shoemaker walked.  Jayce Boyd then hit a hot smash to the left of the shortstop Schmidt.  He made a sliding short hop play, got up and threw the ball in the dirt to first.  The ball skipped off first baseman Chris Grayson’s arm and Murphy charged towards the plate.  Grayson’s throw home skipped past Garrett allowing Murphy to score the eventual winning run.


          Wheeler tossed a perfect eighth and went 2.0 shutout innings allowing one hit and striking out two.  Tom Wilhelmsen recorded his fifth save by pitching a scoreless ninth while walking one and striking out two.


          The Saints scored the first run of the game in the first when Josh Allen led off with a double to left-center.  He extended his hitting streak to a career tying high nine game and has an extra base hit in seven-straight.  With two outs and the shift on for Brady Shoemaker, he singled to away from the shift on the right-side scoring Allen for the first run of the game.


          Kes Carter extended his hitting streak to 11 with a double in the fourth.


          The same two teams meet in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (2-0, 2.96) to the mound against Canaries LHP Joe Bircher (1-3, 6.15).  It is the 115th Anniversary of Harley-Davidson presented by St. Paul & Wild Prairie Harley-Davidson.  The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities area, and heard on Alt 93.3 FM.