Allen, Saints Jump on Canaries Early, Prevail 7-4
SIOUX FALLS, SD (July 5, 2020) – The St. Paul Saints have only one “veteran” player on their roster and he got the start on Sunday evening at Sioux Falls Stadium. Mike Devine, one of the top relievers in the American Association for the Saints the last two years, made his first start since August 10, 2016. The second oldest player on the Saints worked 5.0 strong innings, while the fifth oldest player, Josh Allen, had a perfect day at the plate in a 7-4 win over the Sioux Falls Canaries in front of 517.
Devine ran into a little trouble in the second when, with one out, he walked Jabari Henry and gave up a double to Mike Hart putting runners at second and third. Devine got Ryan Brett to fly out to shallow center and then Ryan Long grounded out to end the inning.
The Saints offense gave Devine a 5-0 lead scoring three in the second when Allen led off with a walk and Sebastian Zawada reached on a one out single, moving Allen to third. A wild pitch scored Allen giving the Saints a 1-0 lead. A second wild pitch moved Zawada to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly from Mitch Ghelfi making it 2-0. Connor Justus walked and scored on an RBI double from Max Murphy giving the Saints a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth Allen deposited one over the left field wall, his first of the season, making it 4-0.
In the fifth the Saints took a 5-0 lead when Allen walked, stole second and two batters later scored on a single by Zawada.
Devine retired 10 in a row until he walked Hart to lead off the fifth. After hitting Brett, Devine struck out Long before giving up an infield single to Matt Morales to load the bases. Andrew Ely cut the Saints lead to 5-2 with a two-run single to right and Logan Landon followed with an RBI single to make it 5-3. Devine made the pitch of the night to last season’s batting champ, Alay Lago, getting him to ground into an inning ending double play. Devine went 5.0 innings allowing three runs on five hits while walking two and striking out four.
The Saints added an insurance run in the sixth when Murphy was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Chesny Young’s single to center making it 6-3.
The Canaries cut the lead to 6-4 in the eighth on a solo homer by Damek Tomscha, his first of the season.
The Saints finished the scoring in the ninth when JC Millan doubled to right-center and Allen singled home pinch runner Justin Byrd with a single to left. Allen went 2-2 with a home run, two RBI, three runs, a stolen base, and three walks.
Jameson McGrane, who entered the game with two outs in the eighth and the tying run at the plate, locked down the save going 1.1 innings and striking out three.
The Saints have Monday off and are back in action on Tuesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium against the Canaries at 7:05 p.m., as the Saints will play their first home game in Sioux Falls. The Saints will send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (NR) against Canaries RHP Sam Bragg (NR). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints