Henderson, Gray Combine to Blank Saints
The American Association had a rare treat on Tuesday night – a 1-0 game. It is one of the most exciting contests in the sport, where literally every pitch that is thrown could be a game changer. That was the case Tuesday night in St. Paul where Milwaukee Milkmen starter Henderson Alvarez outdueled St. Paul Saints right-hander Mike Devine, as the two combined to allow just six hits in the pitchers’ duel.
The only run of the game came in the top of the second. With one down, Mason Davis was hit by a pitch. Zach Nehrir then hit a ball to third that Chesny Young scooped up but he lost the ball before he could make the throw. That allowed Nehrir to reach and moved Davis to second. Christian Correa followed with a base hit into right, bringing home Davis to put Milwaukee on top, 1-0.
From there, the two starters matched each other pitch-for-pitch. Devine gave up a two-out double in the third, his third hit allowed in the contest, then set down 17 in a row. The streak finally came to an end when Dylan Tice doubled with one down in the ninth.
The run was quite impressive as Devine was simply dominating the Milwaukee lineup. The right-hander had at least one strikeout in each of the first seven innings and had seven through the first four frames. He allowed four hits and one unearned run in 8.1 innings, striking out 13, the second most in Saints history.
While Devine was mowing down the Milkmen hitters, Alvarez was even more devastating. The Milwaukee starter gave up a two-out hit in the bottom of the first and a leadoff single in the bottom of the second. He then retired 21 straight batters, leaving the Saints absolutely no opportunity to tie this game.
Alvarez (1-1) came out after eight. He allowed just two hits and no walks. The righty struck out five.
Peyton Gray came on in the ninth and allowed a walk, but he struck out two in earning his 13th save of the season. It was the 27th appearance of the season for Gray, who has yet to be scored upon.
The victory coupled with a loss by the Sioux Falls Canaries extended the Milkmen lead to 2.5 games.
By Robert Pannier