Saints Sweep in Winnipeg, 8-5
The St. Paul Saints watched every contending team go on a long winning streak at some point during the season. They now have theirs. For the seventh straight game the Saints got a victory as they knocked around Winnipeg Goldeyes starter Kevin McGovern early and held on for an 8-5 victory at Shaw Park on Monday night. The win improves the Saints to 54-33 and they are 4.0 back of the North Division leading Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and 2.5 games up on the playoff spot over the Chicago Dogs with 13 games left.
In the first, Dan Motl led off with a single and Michael Lang moved him to second with a single of his own. A ground ball moved the runners up and a wild pitch scored Motl giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.
In the second the Saints put up four on McGovern. Josh Allen and Chesny Young led off with back-to-back walks. A sacrifice bunt by Chris Baker moved the runners up. Blake Schmit then dropped a double to left-center scoring two and increased the lead to 3-0. Motl then tripled to right scoring Schmit and upping the lead to 4-0. A sacrifice fly from Lang scored Motl and gave the Saints a 5-0 lead.
The lead didn’t last long as the Goldeyes got to Landon Beck in the third as Tyler Marincov led off with a walk. Wes Darvill singled to center and an error by Motl while he was fielding the ball moved the runners up to second and third. Reggie Abercrombie’s single to center scored both runners making it 5-2. Kyle Martin then blasted a two-run homer to right, his 12th of the season, making it 5-4.
The teams traded runs in the sixth as Allen blasted a solo homer to right, his 17th of the season and second in as many games, giving the Saints a 6-4 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth John Price Jr. doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Ray Pastrana cutting the Saints lead to 6-5.
In the seventh, however, the Saints took advantage of two costly errors. Motl led off the inning by reaching second on a two base throwing error by the shortstop Adrian Marin. That was the last batter McGovern would face and he gave way to Cameron McVey. With one out Brady Shoemaker was intentionally walked. A walk to Jabari Henry loaded the bases. With two outs a fielding error by Marin on a ground ball by Allen scored Motl making it 7-5. A bases loaded walk to Young scored the final run of the night. McGovern went 6.0+ allowing seven runs (six earned) on six hits. It was the most runs they had ever scored against McGovern in 16 starts.
The Saints bullpen did the rest. Karch Kowalczyk, Ken Frosch, Mike Devine and Tanner Kiest each pitched 1.0 inning with Kowalczyk giving up the lone run. Kiest picked up his fourth save of the season.
The Saints are off on Tuesday and begin a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats at U.S. Steel Yard on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. The Saints send RHP Jake Matthys (8-4, 5.56) while the RailCats are TBA. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson