Heart of Order Powers Saints to 13-7 Victory Over Rivals
As the weather has been warming up, so has the heart of the St. Paul Saints batting order. Friday night that was the case as well, as Brady Shoemaker, Anthony Gallas, and Tony Thomas each homered and combined to go 6-10 with 9-runs scored and 6-RBI in the 13-7 victory over the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Jason Creasy won his fourth game of the year, and Saints extended their lead in the North to five.
After a scoreless first, the Saints plated four against Winnipeg starter Edwin Carl to take the lead in the second. Brady Shoemaker walked to start the inning and Anthony Gallas followed by drilling his fifth home run of the season. Two batters later, Maxx Garrett drew a walk, and he scored when Jon Kristoffersen doubled to center field. With two down, Danny Oh delivered the clutch two out single, scoring Kristoffersen, and St. Paul led 4-0.
In the third, it would be Thomas that would extend the team’s lead. Shoemaker singled with one down, and Thomas delivered a clutch two-out hit of his own, clubbing his team-leading eighth home run of the season to extend the lead to six.
Into the fifth the game would go, where the Saints would look to put this game out of reach. Nate Hanson grounded a ball into the hole at short that he beat out for a single and Shoemaker was hit by a pitch to put two on with one down. That brought Gallas to the plate, who lined a double into left field that scored Hanson. Thomas was intentionally walked to load the bases and Garret beat out an infield single to bring home Shoemaker to make it 8-0. Tanner Vavra’s RBI single into right plated Gallas and the lead was nine.
While the St. Paul Saints’ bats were staking him to a huge lead, Jason Creasy was shutting down the Winnipeg Goldeyes’ bats. He retired the side in order in the first two innings and didn’t allow his first hit until a one-out double in the third. He would allow just two-hits through five and the Goldeyes seemed to have no answers for the right-hander.
In the sixth, Winnipeg would finally get on the board. David Rohm started the inning with a double and scored when Josh Romanski followed with a double. Two batters later, Shawn Pleffner singled into center field, scoring Romanski to make it 9-2.
The Saints responded with four-runs in the bottom of the sixth. Kenny Mathews came on to pitch for Winnipeg and retired the first two batters of the inning, but Shoemaker gave St. Paul their 10th run of the game when he drilled his seventh homer of the season. Galls then reached on an error before Thomas walked. A walk to Garrett loaded the bases, and Kristoffersen brought two runs home on a single to center. Vavra followed with an RBI single and the Saints scored four in the inning, all with two-outs.
The Goldeyes added another run in the seventh. Mason Katz and Alixon Suarez delivered back-to-back singles with one out and Andrew Sohn brought Katz home with a sacrifice fly.
Jason Creasy (4-2) would finish off the seventh, and his night would be over. The right-hander allowed 7-hits, a walk and 3-runs, while striking out 5. The victory was his third straight.
In the eighth, the Goldeyes continued to chip away at the St. Paul lead. Kenneth Frosch retired the first two hitters of the inning, but Pleffner kept the inning alive with a single. Former Saints David Bergin followed with his ninth homer of the season and it was 13-5.
Winnipeg would get back on the board in the ninth. Suarez doubled to start the inning against Connor Little, and Sohn followed by drilling his third homer of the year. That made it 13-7, but the Goldeyes would get no closer.
The heart of the St. Paul Saints order had a huge night. Brady Shoemaker was a perfect 2-2 with 4-runs scored and an RBI. Anthony Gallas was 2-5 with 3-runs scored and 3-RBI. Tony Thomas was 2-3 with 2-runs and 2-RBI. Jon Kristoffersen also had 2-hits and drove in 3. Mason Katz led the Winnipeg offense, going 3-4 with a run scored and Andrew Sohn drove in 3.
The Saints have won the first two-games of this four-game set, and look to clinch the series victory on Saturday. Mark Hamburger (5-1, 2.97) looks for his American Association leading sixth victory on Saturday night. Zack Dodson (2-1, 4.85) will go for Winnipeg. First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier