Getting to CHS Field

Zimmerman Dazzles Again, but Grand Slam the Difference in 5-1 Loss To Railroaders

ST. PAUL, MN July 24, 2019

St. Paul Saints starting pitcher Ryan Zimmerman is trying to add one simple word before his name: Ace.  On Wednesday night he pitched like one again tying a career high with nine strikeouts while allowing one hit over 7.0 innings, but a Chase Simpson grand slam proved to be the difference in a 5-1 loss to the Cleburne Railroaders at CHS Field in front of 7,248.  The loss drops the Saints to 40-22 on the season.

          The first batter of the game was the only batter to record a hit against Zimmerman.  Former Major Leaguer Daniel Robertson tripled over the head of Dan Motl in center.  Angel Reyes then hit a grounder to the shortstop Chris Baker, who couldn’t handle it, as Reyes reached on the error and the run scored giving the Railroaders a 1-0 lead.  Zimmerman’s errant pickoff attempt allowed Reyes to advance to third, but three straight pop ups got the rookie right-hander out of the inning without further damage.

          Zimmerman allowed just two more base runners, a two out walk to Grant Buck in the second and a two out walk to Simpson in the sixth.  Despite not striking anyone out in the first, he fanned all three outs in the second and got one in the third through seventh.  Overall, Zimmerman went 7.0 innings allowing one run on one hit while walking two and striking out nine.

          The Saints offense couldn’t do anything against lefty Eudis Idrogo.  He hit the first batter he faced, Dan Motl, leading off the bottom of the first, but got Baker to hit into a double play.  Through four innings he faced the minimum.

          With two outs in the fifth Jeremy Martinez hit a line drive to second that was dropped by Ryan Brett for an error, but the no-hitter stayed intact.  That all changed in the sixth when Chesny Young led off with a solo homer to left, his fourth of the season and extending his hitting streak to eight, that tied the game at one.  With one out Motl singled to left and Baker reached on an infield single to short.  Brady Shoemaker then hit a lined shot to second that was caught by Brett and Josh Allen grounded out to end the inning.

          In the eighth, left-handed reliever Ken Frosch was brought in to face the leadoff hitter, the left-hand hitting Grant Buck.  On a 3-1 pitch Frosch hit Buck.  Frosch departed for Ryan Smith.  K.C. Huth attempted to sacrifice Buck to second, but first baseman John Silviano fielded the bunt and threw out Buck at second.  Robertson followed with a single to right putting runners at first and second. Reyes then hit a ground ball to the shortstop Baker’s right and he had the ball go in and out of his glove as the error loaded the bases.  Smith got ahead of Simpson 0-2 and then worked the count full.  After fouling off two pitches, he crushed a grand slam to right, his 16th of the season, that proved to be the difference.

          The same two teams meet in the second game of the three game series on Thursday night at CHS Field at 7:05 p.m.  The Saints send RHP Benji Waite (0-0, 4.91) to the mound against Railroaders RHP Charlie Gillies (3-5, 4.08).  It is St. Patrick’s Day in July presented by St. Paul Athletic Club.  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.