Saints Solve McGovern Equation, Down Goldeyes, 5-4
The St. Paul Saints hadn’t beaten Kevin McGovern since 2017. The Saints were just 3-11 in games in which he started against them in his career. With the Saints and Winnipeg Goldeyes fighting for a playoff spot the Saints became the first team to win back-to-back games in the series. They got a thrilling 5-4 come from behind victory on Wednesday night at CHS Field in front of 10,029. It’s the first time in franchise history the Saints have drawn more than 10,000 in back-to-back games. With the win the Saints are now 49-33 on the season.
The Saints got out to an early lead on McGovern, who entered play 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA in his last six appearances against the Saints, with two runs in the first. McGovern walked leadoff hitter Dan Motl and Michael Lang dropped down a bunt single. Brady Shoemaker walked to load the bases and that brought up Jabari Henry. He singled off the glove of a diving Wes Darvill at third scoring two runs and giving the Saints a 2-0 lead. It was the first time since August 31, 2016, a span of seven starts, that the Saints scored a run in the first off McGovern.
In the fifth, Lang added to the lead with a solo blast to left-center, his ninth of the season, and fourth with the Saints, making it 3-0.
Landon Beck started for the Saints, making his first start since 2015 when he was in Low-A with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. The first runner to reach second base happened in the third when he gave up a one out single and then a walk, but got Reggie Abercrombie to ground into an inning ending double play.
Beck started the sixth inning, but gave up a leadoff walk to Darvill followed by an RBI triple from Abercrombie making it 3-1. Beck departed for left-hander Chris Lee. After a strikeout of Kyle Martin, former Major Leaguer Willy Garcia tied the game with a two-run homer to right, his 13th of the season, making it 3-3. Beck went 5.0+ allowing two runs on five hits while walking four and striking out three. Lee then walked Dominic Ficociello and got Alex Perez to line out before departing. Mike Devine came on in relief, but gave up back-to-back singles to Adrian Marin and Kevin Garcia, the latter scoring Ficociello to give the Goldeyes a 4-3 lead.
The Saints would answer immediately in the bottom of the inning off McGovern. Jeremy Martinez led off the inning with a solo homer to left, his ninth of the season, tying the game at four. With a runner at first and one out, Chris Baker hit a grounder to short, but Marin didn’t field it cleanly and the error put runners at first and second. Blake Schmit followed with what proved to be the eventual game winning run, an RBI single to center scoring Josh Allen. McGovern departed after that going 5.1 innings allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits. It was the most earned runs they had scored against McGovern since July 18, 2016, a span of nine starts, and the most runs they had scored on him since June 27, 2016, a span of 10 starts.
Tanner Kiest shut the door on the Goldeyes pitching the final two innings allowing just two walks to pick up his third save of the season.
The Saints head to Haymarket Park for a three-game series that begins on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Jake Matthys (7-4, 5.65) to the mound and the Saltdogs are TBA. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson
Minor League Sports Report - American Association Daily Recap: August 14, 2019
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