Medina Extends Scoreless Streak, Saints Win 14-2
Eddie Medina wasn’t Johnny Vander Meer on Saturday night at CHS Field, but he did etch his name once more into the St. Paul Saints record book. With 5.0 scoreless innings Medina set the franchise record for most consecutive scoreless innings and the offense set a season high in runs and tied a season high in hits, en route to a 14-2 thrashing of the Milwaukee Milkmen in front of 8,573.
Medina, who was making his first start since his no-hitter on May 31, entered play 2.2 innings shy of the franchises scoreless streak of 29.2 set by Caleb Thielbar in 2011. After cruising through the first, Medina walked Garrett Copeland with one out in the second. He then did something he hadn’t done in 12.1 innings: he gave up a hit as Nolan Earley singled through the right side to put runners at first and second. Medina retired Adam Brett Walker on a deep fly to left and got Christ Conley to pop out.
After a scoreless third, Medina needed to pitch one more scoreless inning for the record. In the fourth he struck out the first two hitters he faced before giving up another single to Earley. Walker then hit a comebacker that Medina fielded and threw to first to set the record.
For good measure Medina added one more inning to his scoreless streak and went 5.0 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking four and striking out three. Medina hasn’t allowed a run since he gave up four in the first inning on Opening Night. He lowered his ERA to 1.13.
The offense, however, did all it could to overshadow Medina. With two outs in the first Brady Shoemaker and Burt Reynolds recorded back-to-back doubles giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.
In the third, Dan Motl led off with a single to center and scored on a double by Max Murphy to make it 2-0.
The offense then turned it into high gear in the fourth scoring a season high eight runs as they sent 11 men to the plate. With one out Jeremy Martinez walked, Chesny Young singled and Joey Wong walked to load the bases. Motl followed with a walk to force in a run and make it 3-0. Murphy singled to right scoring two and expanding the lead to 5-0. Murphy finished the night 3-5 with a double, three RBI and a run scored. A Blake Schmit sacrifice fly to right made it 6-0. Shoemaker knocked in Murphy with a single to center making it 8-0. Reynolds then clubbed a two-run home run to left-center, his third of the season, giving the Saints a 10-0 lead. After a pitching change, Devon Rodriguez made it back-to-back as he hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot to right, making it 11-0. Rodriguez, who went 2-4 with a triple, a home run, an RBI and two runs scored, extended his hitting streak to eight games.
After two unearned runs scored in the sixth for the Milkmen, the Saints tacked on a run in the bottom of the inning when Rodriguez tripled and scored on a double by Martinez, who extended his hitting streak to eight games.
In the bottom of the eighth, with position player Nick Earley on the mound, Schmit roped a double to right and scored on a double from Reynolds giving the Saints a 12-2 lead. He finished the night 3-5 with two doubles, a home run, four RBI and two runs scored. Josh Allen, who entered the game when Rodriguez injured his hand on a slide into third on the triple, took the first pitch he saw and clubbed a two-run homer to left, his third of the season, to finish the scoring.
Nine of the 11 players who played collected a hit and nine of the 16 hits went for extra bases.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. The Saints send RHP Nick Belzer (2-0, 1.23) to the mound against Milkmen RHP Angel Ventura (1-3, 2.63). It is Prostate Cancer Awareness Night presented by Minnesota Urology Foundation. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on KSTC-TV (45TV).
By Sean Aronson