Jake Matthys, Saints Staff Blank Explorers, 6-0
It may have only been an exhibition game, but St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis enjoyed what he saw from his pitchers on Monday night at CHS Field in front of 4,356. They shut down the Sioux City Explorers winning 6-0, allowing just three hits, as five pitchers combined on the shutout.
Jake Matthys, who was a swing guy for Tsamis in 2018 beginning the season in the bullpen before becoming a starter, was masterful in his 4.0 innings of work. He faced the minimum, allowing a leadoff single to Dylan Kelly in the third, before ending the inning with a double play. Matthys, who began the game by striking out the first two hitters he faced, struck out three and allowed just the one base runner.
Mitch Brown followed and retired the side in order in the fifth before pitching out of trouble in the sixth. After giving up a leadoff single to Dexture McCall, Kelly reached on a walk. Brown fanned Tillman Pugh and got Luke Bonfield to fly out to right. Daytona Bryden drew a walk to load the bases, but Brown finished off the inning by striking out Nelson Ward. Brown fanned three in his 2.0 innings of work.
Mike Devine, who had the third longest consecutive scoreless inning streak in franchise history in 2018, faced four hitters in the seventh. Michael Lang reached on a fielding error by third baseman Chesny Young, but Devine retired the next three, the last two on strikes.
Jordan Jess worked a clean eighth fanning one.
In the ninth Todd Van Steensel allowed a leadoff single to Bonfield, but retired the next three hitters to finish off the game.
The Saints offense pounded out 10 hits and got on the board in the second. Devon Rodriguez, who went 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored, led off the inning with an infield single to short. With one out Jeremy Martinez and Joey Wong walked to load the bases. A fielder’s choice by Dan Motl plated Rodriguez giving the Saints a 1-0 lead. Max Murphy followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
In the third, Blake Schmit launched a solo homer to left, his first of the exhibition season, making it 3-0 Saints.
The Saints doubled their run output in the seventh when Josh Allen and Schmit led off with back-to-back walks. Young made it 4-0 with an RBI single to center. Two batters later Rodriguez plated Schmit giving the Saints a 5-0 lead. The Saints finished their scoring with a Burt Reynolds sacrifice fly.
The same two teams meet on Tuesday morning at 11:30 a.m. in the final exhibition game for the Saints. The regular season begins on Thursday night at CHS Field against the Milwaukee Milkmen at 7:05 p.m.