Mark Hamburger Sizzles in Saints 4-2 Victory over RedHawks
After a wild affair Friday night, the St. Paul Saints turned to a more conventional battle, sending ace Mark Hamburger to the hill to face to Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks ace Tyler Alexander. The right-hander threw one of his most dominating performances of the season, striking out a season-high 11 in seven innings of work to earn his American Association leading ninth victory of the year. Caleb Thielbar earned his second save of the season and Kes Carter drove in two runs to help lead the Saints to the 4-2 victory.
The RedHawks would take the lead with two quick runs in the bottom of the first inning. Hamburger struck out the first batter of the inning, but then walked Devan Ahart before giving up a base hit to Keury De La Cruz that moved Ahart to third. After De La Cruz stole second, Josh Mazzola struck out for the second out of the inning. Fargo-Moorhead was looking for a clutch hit, and K.D. Kang delivered it, singling up the middle to score both Ahart and De La Cruz to make the score 2-0.
The Saints responded with a run in the top of the second against RedHawks ace Tyler Alexander. Tony Thomas singled with one out and moved to second when Kes Carter drew a walk. Next up was catcher Maxx Garrett, who lined a base hit up the middle to score Thomas and cut the St. Paul deficit to one.
In the fourth, the Saints tied the score. Alexander retired the first two batters of the inning, but he could not retire Danny Oh, who worked the count full before doubling down the line. Mitch Delfino followed with a base hit that brought home Oh and the game was tied at two.
One inning later, the St. Paul Saints would take the lead thanks to Carter. A one-out single by Brady Shoemaker got the rally started, and Anthony Gallas followed with a base hit that moved Shoemaker to second. Thomas then hit into a fielder’s choice that put runners at the corners, and Carter followed with a double to the wall in center that scored both runners home to make it 4-2.
After giving up the two runs in the first, Hamburger dominated from that point on. He gave up only two singles over the next five innings, and one of those runners was erased on a double play. Through the first six innings of the game he struck out 11, including striking out the side in the fifth inning.
In the seventh, it looked like Fargo-Moorhead would get a chance to tie the score. Three singles loaded that bases with one down, but the Saints ace induced a ground ball hit right back to him that he turned into the 1-2-3 double-play.
Mark Hamburger (9-1) would leave after 7-innings. He allowed 8-hits, a walk, and 2-earned runs, while striking out 11. In the eighth, Caleb Thielbar came on for St. Paul. He allowed a hit in his two innings of work, while striking out 2 for his second save of the season.
Tony Thomas scored 2-runs for St. Paul and Kes Carter drove in 2. K.D. Kang and Charlie Valerio each had 3-hits for Fargo-Moorhead, and Kang drove in both runs.
The Saints have tomorrow off before returning home to start a four-game series with the Sioux Falls Canaries.
By Robert Pannier