Saints Use Three Run Eighth To Topple Fargo-Moorhead 5-3ST. PAUL, MN August 6, 2016
Before Saturday night, the St. Paul Saints had won just two of 23 games in which they had trailed after the seventh inning. Attempting to hold off a charging Winnipeg team in the division, the Saints used productive hitting from the bottom third of the line-up to rally for a crucial 5-3 win over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in front of 9,539 fans at CHS Field. The Saints improve to 49-32, the best record in the American Association, and maintain a 7.0 game lead in the North Division.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Trever Adams and Willie Argo drew a pair of one out walks against reliever Roman Madrid, who was lifted for Brett Zawaki. After striking out in his first three at bats, Tony Caldwell doubled to the gap in right field, knocking in both runners to give the Saints a 4-3 lead. Aaron Gretz followed with a single to right, allowing Caldwell to slide in just ahead of a throw home to give the Saints an insurance run, making it 5-3.
Closer Ryan Rodebaugh didn’t need the extra run as he worked a perfect ninth inning to secure his league leading 20th save of the season. Rodebaugh becomes just the third Saints pitcher with two 20 save seasons, joining Chris Chavez and Matt Hammons. It was his 20th save in 21 save opportunities this year.
Looking to break Charlie Ruud’s franchise record for most career wins, Saints starter Robert Coe was up and down throughout the night. The RedHawks got to Coe in the second when Charlie Valerio singled in a run to make it 1-0.
The Saints took the lead with one swing from Willie Argo. Adams started the inning with a walk, and then Argo blasted a ball to the bullpen in left, his eighth home run of the season, to give the Saints a 2-1 lead. Argo finished the night 2-3 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.
Though the offense gave him the lead back, Coe couldn’t hold onto it in the sixth. With one out he walked Josh Mazzola, then gave up an RBI double to Dustin Geiger, tying the game at 2-2. Following an intentional walk to Valerio, former Saint Mike Gilmartin singled to right field, driving in Geiger to give the RedHawks a 3-2 lead. Coe received a no decision, going 6.0 innings and giving up three runs off six hits while walking two and striking out six.
Caleb Thielbar earned the victory after pitching 2.0 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and striking out one.
The Saints are off on Sunday before starting a three game series with the Gary SouthShoreRailCats on Monday at 7:10 p.m. In the opener RHP John Straka (9-3, 4.80) takes the mound for the Saints, while Gary is still TBA. The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.