Solter Sharp, Bats Silenced, Saints Fall, 3-1
SIOUX FALLS, SD (August 25, 2020) – The St. Paul Saints know the final 15 games of the season will determine their playoff fate. They entered Tuesday night in fourth place, with the top two teams reaching the Finals, but just 2.0 games out of a playoff spot. They got a playoff type start from Matt Solter, but the offense couldn’t figure out Tyler Danish in a 3-1 loss to the Sioux Falls Canaries at Sioux Falls Stadium. The loss drops the Saints to 23-23 and they will remain at least 2.0 games out of a playoff spot with 14 to play.
The Saints had the lead off man on in five of the nine innings, including the first four. Mikey Reynolds led off the game with a walk, but a double play erased him.
In the lone inning they scored, the second, John Silviano led off with a single to right. Max Murphy doubled him to third. With one out Nate Samson’s ground out scored Silviano giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.
The Canaries tied it in the bottom of the inning on a solo homer by Roy Morales, his first of the season and just the sixth in more than 300 games.
In the top of the third the Saints nearly took the lead when Josh Allen walked with two outs. Chris Chinea then roped a double off the wall in right-center, but Allen was thrown out trying to score. Making matters worse Allen would leave the game with an injury.
The Canaries used the momentum of throwing out at Allen at the plate in the bottom of the inning when Logan Landon led off with a double. Andrew Ely, who finished the night 4-4, knocked him home with a double giving the Canaries a 2-1 lead. That would be the last run Solter allowed as he went 7.0 innings allowing two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out seven.
In the fourth, Silviano led off with a single to right, but a double play erased him.
The Saints best chance to tie the game came in the sixth when Drew Stankiewicz, who entered the game for Allen, singled with one out. Chinea doubled for the second time on the night moving Stankiewicz to third. Silviano then hit a grounder to first and Stankiewicz was thrown out at the plate. The inning ended on a Murphy ground out.
The Canaries added an insurance run in the eighth on a solo homer from Ely, his fifth of the season, giving the Canaries their final margin of victory.
The same two teams meet in the second game of the three-game series on Wednesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Mike Devine (2-2, 2.81) to the mound while the Canaries are TBA. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints