Saints Wild And Outside In 7-6 Loss To LemursST. PAUL, MN June 5, 2016
A night after starter Robert Coe walked seven, three St. Paul Saints pitchers combined for 11 walks and four wild pitches as for the first time this season the Saints lost back-to-back games losing 7-6 on Sunday night at Uni-Trade Stadium against the Laredo Lemurs. They dropped to 12-6 on the season and 4-3 on their 14 game roadtrip, the longest in franchise history.
The Saints trailed by a run, 5-4, going into the bottom of the eighth inning, but the Lemurs tacked on two vital insurance runs. Jesus Posso led off with a double that center fielder Alonzo Harris tried to leap and make the catch, but it went over his head and to the wall. Alvaro Rondon followed with an RBI single to make it 6-4. Ty Morrison sacrificed Rondon to second, but Saints reliever Cody Wheeler struck out J.D. Pulfer. Wheeler, however, would walk the next three hitters to force in a run and make it 7-4.
That proved to be costly because in the ninth the Saints staged a comeback against closer Jeff Inman. Angelo Songco led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Tony Thomas knocked home Songco with a single to make it 7-5. Thomas finished the night 2-4 with a double, RBI and a run scored and extended his hitting streak to 17, tied for the eighth longest in franchise history. After Mike Gilmartin reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a throwing error, Willie Argo struck out for the second out of the inning. Tanner Vavra came through with an RBI single to pull the Saints within a run. He stole second to put the tying run in scoring position, but Aaron Gretz struck out to end the game.
The Saints jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second when Thomas doubled with one out. With two outs Argo walked. Vavra reached on an error by shortstop J.D. Pulfer to load the bases. Gretz then hit a swinging bunt up along third that was fielded by Travis Denker. His throw to first was late and glanced off the glove of first baseman Jesus Posso. Two runs scored on the single and error.
Kody Knaus, a graduate of Concordia-St. Paul, got his first start of the season. He was sharp through three innings not allowing a hit despite three walks. In the fourth, however, he walked Denker with one out. With two outs Abel Nieves and Matt Koch singled to load the bases. An infield single by Drew Martinez plated a run to make it 2-1. Posso then blopped a single into shallow left that scored two to make it 3-2 Lemurs. Knaus went 4.0 innings allowing three runs on four hits while walking four and striking out one.
The bullpen took over in the fifth and Chris Peacock entered the game. He walked Denker with two outs and Denis Phipps doubled him to third. Peacock unlashed a wild pitch allowing Denker to score making it 4-2.
In the sixth Martinez led off with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a ground out. Peacock’s second wild pitch of the inning, and third of the game, allowed Martinez to score making it 5-2.
The Saints drew within a run in the seventh when Mike Gilmartin singled with two outs and Argo followed with a two-run homer, his first of the season, to make it 5-4.
The Saints now travel 632 miles to Amarillo to take on the Texas AirHogs at Potter County Memorial Stadium in game one of a three game series. The Saints send RHP John Straka (2-0, 4.86) to the mound against AirHogs LHP Ethan Carnes (1-0, 2.33). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.