Straka Strikes Out 11, But Saints Give Up Six Home Runs As Win Streak Ends In 14-6 LossST. PAUL, MN July 17, 2016
The St. Paul Saints knew they couldn’t win every game, but their seven game winning streak and franchise record 10 straight wins at CHS Field came to a screeching halt as they gave up a season high six home runs and lost 14-6 to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Sunday evening in front of 8,568. The Saints fell to 40-17 on the season, still the best record in the American Association.
John Straka struck out a season high 11, but the long ball plagued him and reliever Alec Crawford all game long. It started in the first when Ryan Pineda doubled and Keury De La Cruz singled him to third. With two outs K.D. Kang crushed a three-run homer to center, his first of the game and 10th of the season, to make it 3-0 RedHawks. Dustin Geiger followed with a solo homer, his first of the day and third of the season, to make it 4-0.
With the Saints trailing 5-0 in the third, Kang hit his second home run of the game, a solo shot to left, his 11th of the season, to make it 6-0.
Straka would settle down following the home run and didn’t allow another hit the rest of his start including retiring the final 10 men he faced. He struck out four straight at one point, the side in the fifth and the first batter in the sixth. Straka went 6.0 innings allowing six runs on six hits while striking out 11, the most by a Saints pitcher this season. It was the most strikeouts by a Saints pitcher since Mark Hamburger struck out 11 against the Grand Prairie AirHogs on July 11, 2013.
Crawford didn’t fare any better because in the seventh he walked Pineda and gave up a two-run homer to De La Cruz, his eighth of the season, to make it 8-0. With two outs Kang doubled and Geiger hit his second home run of the game, a two-run shot, his fourth of the season, to make it 10-0.
The Saints tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the seventh sending 10 men to the plate and scoring four runs. Trever Adams led off with a triple and Tony Caldwell walked. Aaron Gretz got the Saints on the board with an RBI single to right to make it 10-1. Willie Argo followed with an RBI double to make it 10-2. With two outs the Saints drew three straight walks, the latter two to Tony Thomas and Nate Hanson drove in runs to make it 10-4.
The RedHawks, however, used the long ball one more time in the eighth when Bryan Johns singled and Kes Carter blasted a two-run homer to right, his sixth of the season, to make it 12-4. Crawford went 3.0 innings allowing eight runs on eight hits, giving up three home runs, while walking one and striking out three. The 14 strikeouts by the Saints were the most since June 2, 2014 when they struck out 16 in Quebec.
The Saints now head to Shaw Park for a three game series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes beginning Monday night at 7:00 p.m. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (7-1, 3.44) to the mound against Goldeyes LHP Kevin McGovern (3-1, 4.26). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.