Devine Gem, Homers Highlight Saints Victory
ST. PAUL, MN (August 9, 2020) – It was a battle of two Top 10 pitchers in the American Association on Sunday evening at CHS Field that lived up to the billing. Mike Devine continued to impress for the St. Paul Saints and the team made sure it didn’t set a dubious mark of going homerless in six straight games at CHS Field as Josh Allen and Alonzo Harris provided the offense in a 2-1 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries in front of a sold out crowd of 1,500.
Devine and Jake Zokan went toe-to-toe with neither pitcher giving much. The Saints had the first opportunity to score in the first when they loaded the bases as Mikey Reynolds led off a walk, Natson Samson reached on a one out single and Allen walked with two outs. Chesny Young would foul out to right, however, to end the inning. Zokan worked 5.0 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking three and striking out four.
In the second, Max Murphy led off with a double to center, but was left stranded at second.
Meanwhile, Devine didn’t allow a runner to reach second through the first four innings. His lone mistake came in the fifth when Clint Coulter drilled a two out solo homer to left, his fifth of the season, putting the Canaries up 1-0.
The Saints, who had tied a record by not homering in five straight games at CHS Field something they had done three other times since moving into the ballpark in 2015, finally hit one out. In the seventh Allen crushed a solo homer to left, his third of the season, tying the game at one.
In the top of the eighth Devine retired the first two hitters before giving up back-to-back singles to Ryan Brett and Andrew Ely. The Saints went to their bullpen for Paul Voelker and he got Roy Morales to ground into an inning ending fielder’s choice. Devine went 7.2 innings allowing one run on seven hits while striking out eight.
That set the stage for Harris in the bottom of the inning. With two outs Harris took a 1-1 pitch and sent it over the left field wall for his first homer of the season giving the Saints a one run lead.
In the ninth, Jameson McGrane shut it down retiring all three hitters as he picked up his league tying 10th save of the season.
The Saints have Monday off before returning to action on Tuesday against the same Canaries as the venue shifts to Sioux Falls Stadium for a 7:05 p.m. start time. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (2-1, 4.15) to the mound and the Canaries are TBA. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
by Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints