A night after the St. Paul Saints tied a season high for hits in a game (18) in a 12-2 victory, the team relied on their ace as Mark Hamburger dominated the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, earning his American Association leading 12th win in his league-leading sixth complete game as the Saints won 7-2. Tim Colwell scored 2-runs and drove in 3, and Kes Carter added 2-RBI.
The first inning has been a trouble spot for Mark Hamburger all season, and that continued on Sunday. Keury De La Cruz beat out a ground ball for a single to put a man on first with one down. De La Cruz stole second and scored when Josh Mazzola lined a base hit into center to make it 1-0 RedHawks.
The lead did not last long as the Saints got the run right back in the bottom half of the inning against Tyler Thompson. Tim Colwell led off the inning with his fifth home run of the season. That tied the score at one.
St. Paul would score in each of the first four innings to take a commanding lead. In the bottom of the second, Kes Carter singled to start the frame, but it looked like he would remain stranded after Thompson retired the next two hitters. However, Breland Almadova walked to keep the inning alive before Carter scored on a single to right by Colwell. Almadova tried to score as well, but was thrown out at the plate to keep it a one-run game.
In the third, the Saints added two. Nate Hanson walked with one down and moved to second on a single by Anthony Gallas. Two batters later both runners scored when Carter drilled a double to the wall to make it 4-1.
In the fourth, Maxx Garrett started the inning with a double and moved to second on a sacrifice. Tim Colwell then lined a single into center to score Garrett to make it 5-1. That was Colwell’s third hit of the evening. That would be it for Thompson. Will Dennis came in and hit both JJ Gould and Nate Hanson to load the bases. Gallas then hit a sacrifice fly to score Colwell to make it 6-1.
The Saints added one more run in the seventh. Almadova doubled to start the frame. Dennis retired the next two batters, but Hanson hit a double of his own to easily score Almadova to make it 7-1
Following the first inning run, Mark Hamburger (12-3) was absolutely brilliant. He allowed two singles in the second, then did not allow more than one runner to reach in any inning until the eighth, when he hit a batter with two outs before giving up a single. However, he left the frame unscathed.
In the ninth, Fargo-Moorhead added one more run. Charlie Valerio led off the inning with his seventh home run of the season to make it 7-2. That would be the final.
Hamburger tossed his sixth complete game of the season, allowing 8-hits and 2-runs. He struck out 4.
Tim Colwell was one of several Saints who helped power the offense. Colwell was 3-4 with 2-runs and 3-RBI. Anthony Gallas was 3-4 with a run and an RBI. Kes Carter was 2-5 with a run and 2-RBI. Breland Almadova finished a perfect 2-2 with a run and a walk. Keury De La Cruz led the RedHawks offense, going 2-5 with a run scored.
The St. Paul Saints travel to Gary to take on the RailCats starting Monday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10.
By Robert Pannier