Getting to CHS Field

Saints Watch Lead Vanish In Ninth, Lose 6-3 To AirHogs

ST. PAUL, MN June 25, 2019

The St. Paul Saints were 19-0 went carrying a lead into the ninth inning this season.  That mark now has a blemish on it after giving up five runs in the ninth to the Texas AirHogs and losing 6-3 on Tuesday night at CHS Field in front of 7,519.  The loss drops the Saints to 25-12 on the season.

          With the Saints leading 3-1 in the ninth closer Todd Van Steensel was trying to get his second save in as many nights.  Jonathan Moroney greeted him with a leadoff triple to right-center.  Yang Jin then hit a liner to short that Joey Wong jumped in the air, had the ball go in and then out of his glove for a single, putting runners at the corners.  Luo Jinjin smacked an RBI single to right-center making it 3-2.  With runners at first and second and nobody out the corners came charging in expecting a bunt.  Luan Chenchen showed bunt, pulled back and ripped a single into left loading the bases.  Van Steensel fanned Cao Jie for the first out of the inning.  That brought up Josh Prince who fell behind in the count 0-2, then drilled a two-run single to left, and advanced to second on the throw, making it 4-3 AirHogs.  Van Steensel departed for Karch Kowalczyk who gave up a two-run single to center to Li Ning making it 6-3.  Van Steensel blew just his second save of the season and was charged with five runs in 0.1 inning of relief.

          The Saints wasted a brilliant pitching performance by Ryan Zimmerman.  He was given a three run lead after the first inning when Dan Motl and Blake Schmit drew back-to-back walks.  Brady Shoemaker then unloaded on a three-run homer to left, his seventh of the season, making it 3-0.

          Zimmerman did the rest giving up just a solo homer in the second to Stewart Ijames.  After that Zimmerman didn’t allow another base runner to reach second until the eighth.  He walked two and gave up three harmless singles after the home run, working 7.0+ innings and striking out a career high nine.

          The same two teams meet in the finale of the three-game series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Spencer Jones (1-0, 1.69) to the mound against AirHogs RHP Kevin Hilton (2-4, 3.86).  It is our annual Toilet Paper Drive presented by Innovative Office Solutions.  The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities area.