Solid Start By Coe, Saints Down Explorers 6-2ST. PAUL, MN June 21, 2016
Robert Coe has two goals this season: win a championship and set a Saints record. He has said if the first happens then the second will fall in line. On Tuesday night he moved one step closer to that record: most wins by a pitcher in franchise history. He tossed 7.0 strong innings and the Saints finished off the Sioux City Explorers 6-2 at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park. With the win the Saints improved to 23-10 on the season, the best record in the American Association.
Coe retired six of the first seven hitters he faced and when he faced a little trouble in the third he made the pitch to get out of it. With runners at first and second and one out Coe got Michael Lang to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
He allowed his only runs in the fourth when Noah Perio singled and Nate Samson followed with a double to put runners at second and third and no outs. An RBI groundout by Tommy Mendonca and a wild pitch scored the two runs.
Coe induced another double play in the fifth and retired six of the final seven batters he faced. He went 7.0 innings allowing two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out three. He improved to 4-1 and earned his 36th career win in a Saints uniform, five shy of breaking Charlie Ruud’s (2005-09) franchise record of 40.
For the second time in five days the Saints were able to score some runs on Ryan Zimmerman. In the third Aaron Gretz led off with a walk and advanced to second on a groundout. Breland Almadova’s slow rolling single up the middle scored Gretz to make it 1-0.
The big difference was a four run fourth for the Saints as they sent nine men to the plate. With one out Tony Thomas laced a double down the leftfield line. Willie Argo reached on a bunt single to put runners at the corners. Argo finished the night 3-3 with two walks and a run scored. Tony Caldwell, who failed to become the first Saints player to homer in four straight games, was hit by a pitch to load the bases. The next four hitters all drove home a run as Chad Christensen singled, Gretz walked with the bases loaded, Alonzo Harris had a sacrifice fly and Almadova singled to make it 5-0. Almadova finished 2-5 with two RBI.
The Saints added their final run in the fifth when the Saints loaded the bases with nobody out and managed just a run on Caldwell’s fielder’s choice. Zimmerman went 6.0+ allowing six runs on 10 hits while walking three and striking out two.
Caleb Thielbar pitched a scoreless eighth and has not allowed a run in his last 10.1 IP while Ryan Rodebaugh tossed a scoreless ninth.
The same two teams meet Wednesday night in the finale of the three game series at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park at 7:00 p.m. The Saints send former Explorers RHP John Straka (4-1, 6.23) to the mound against Explorers LHP Cody Forsythe (2-2, 6.39). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLB