Week in Review
The historic run for the St. Paul Saints continued as they swept Joplin at home before winning three of four in Sioux Falls. That now makes the club 20-3 and 9.5 games ahead of their next closest division rival.
In the first game of a three-game series with the Joplin Blasters, the St. Paul Saints jumped out to a 5-1 lead, before having to hold off the visitors for the one run win. Ian Gac went 2-4 with 2 runs, 2 RBI and added his second home run of the season. Angelo Songco also drove in two runs to back the outstanding pitching of Robert Coe, who came off the disabled list to hold Joplin to one unearned run in 5.2 innings pitched.
The second game saw three hit performances from both Willie Argo and Sam Maus, as the Saints won 8-3. Jeff Shields was staked to a six-run lead through four, and won his fourth game of the season against no losses. Both Songco and Gac drove in two more runs apiece.
The final game of the series was another big Saints outburst, as the home team led by six through five innings to back Pedro Hernandez in his third win of the season. Argo had three more hits and drove in three, and Songco hit his third home run of the year, adding two more RBI to take the American Association lead in that category.
Onto Sioux Falls the club went, where Thursday’s game was rained out, forcing a pair of games Friday night. Dustin Crenshaw took the loss in the first contest, as Stephen Bougher shut out the Saints through six innings in earning his first win in his first start. The Saints responded by getting five runs in the second inning of Game 2, on their way to a 6-2 win. Sneed won his second game of the week with six outstanding innings of work and catcher Vinny DiFazio drove in three with a 2-4 night that included his third home run of the season.
The third game of the series saw Coe win his second game in six days, as the Saints scored nine runs in the first three innings, and cruised to a 9-3 win. Argo responded to being held hitless the night before with four hits in five trips to the plate, including his third home run of the season. He also scored three and drove in three. DiFazio added three RBI as well.
In the final game of the series, St. Paul trailed 3-2 entering the eighth, but took the lead with two in the eighth and added an insurance run in the ninth to win 5-3. Shields earned his league leading fifth win of the season, and DiFazio and Argo both hit their fourth home runs of the season.
St. Paul 5, Joplin 4
St. Paul 8, Joplin 3
St. Paul 9, Joplin 4
Sioux Falls 3, St. Paul 0
St. Paul 6, Sioux Falls 2
St. Paul 9, Sioux Falls 3
St. Paul 5, Sioux Falls 3
The real question for the St. Paul Saints should be whose not hot? With so many player having a big week it is hard to single out one player, so the selection is the starting pitching staff. Two pitchers, Coe and Shields, won two games this week, and all seven games the club was in this week got quality starts from their rotation. Even Dustin Crenshaw pitched incredibly well in the 3-0 loss, and cannot be blamed when the club didn’t score. This starting rotation keeps the team in games.
On June 8 Robert Coe was activated from the disabled list. One day later RHP Alan Oaks was released to make room for Coe.
On June 13, LHP Pedro Hernandez was placed on the disabled list and RHP Mikey Mehlich was signed by the club. The right-hander has appeared in two games with the club since being signed and has a 2.45 ERA.
By Robert Pannier