Rodriguez, Allen Homer as Saints Prevail, 5-2
After losing a tough series in Lincoln to begin their nine-game roadtrip, the St. Paul Saints bounced back at The Depot in Cleburne Station against the first place Cleburne Railroaders. The Saints got another solid pitching performance and utilized a couple of home runs to win 5-2 and take two out of three in the series. The Saints improved to 10-6 on the season.
The Saints offense got going in the third inning when Dan Motl led off with a walk. Max Murphy ripped a triple to the gap in left-center scoring Motl to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. Chesny Young and Brady Shoemaker both walked to load the bases. Burt Reynolds’ sacrifice fly scored to make it 2-0.
The Saints doubled that up in the fourth when Jeremy Martinez led off with a single to center. He advanced to second on a wild pitch. Then, Martinez took third on another wild pitch and scored when catcher John Nester threw the ball into left field giving the Saints a 3-0 lead. Josh Allen then drilled a solo homer to right, his second of the season, making it 4-0.
Saints starter Jake Matthys was solid pitching out of a first and second out jam in the first. He retired eight in a row before a leadoff double to Chase Simpson in the fourth. Kenny Meimerstorf then lined a shot to third that Young leaped up and made a great catch. Jonathan Rodriguez, however, followed with an RBI double to cut the Saints lead to 4-1. Matthys got out of the inning by getting two ground outs to third. Matthys went 5.0+ allowing one run on five hits while walking one and striking out one.
The Saints scored their final run in the sixth when Devon Rodriguez drilled a solo homer to right, his first of the year, to make it 5-1.
The Saints bullpen did their job as Jordan Jess came into the ball game with a man on first and nobody out in the sixth. Jess induced a double play from Chase Simpson. Jess gave up back-to-back hits and Mike Devine came out of the bullpen. Despite giving up a run scoring single, Devine went 1.1 shutout innings allowing two hits and striking out two.
Todd Van Steensel pitched 2.0 perfect innings striking out three to pick up his fourth save of the season.
The Saints finish off their nine game roadtrip with a three-game series at AirHogs Stadium beginning Monday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Spencer Jones (1-0, 0.00) to the mound against AirHogs RHP Zech Lemond (0-2, 5.19). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson