St. Paul Saints Power Way to 3-2 Comeback Victory over Goldeyes
For eight innings Tuesday night, the St. Paul Saints offense looked dormant as they were held to no runs on four hits. However, they would come alive in the ninth, thanks to two home runs, to down the Winnipeg Goldeyes, 3-2. The victory, coupled with a Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks loss, clinched a playoff spot for the Saints in the American Association playoffs.
This was a great pitching matchup, as the five runs in this game came in two half innings. After a scoreless first, the Winnipeg Goldeyes would grab the lead in the bottom of the second against Saints starter Trevor Foss. Jordan Ebert and Josh McAdams led off with back-to-back singles and both runners moved up on a sacrifice. Reggie Abercrombie followed with a base hit that scored both runners to make it 2-0 Goldeyes.
From there it was a battle of pitching staffs. Mitch Lambson started for Winnipeg and he was absolutely brilliant. The left-hander allowed two walks in the first and two hits in the second, then got on a roll. After retiring the final batter of the second, Lambson set down 16 of the next 17 batters he faced. He would give up a single to start the eighth, but got a double-play to get out of the frame.
Foss kept the Saints in the game, allowing 8-hits and 2-runs in 5.2-innings pitched. He walked 2 and struck out 2 before coming out. Ken Frosch came on and retired both batters he faced. Evan Mitchell (2-0) tossed 1.2-innings of scoreless relief to keep this a two-run game.
Lambson came back to the mound in the ninth looking to finish off the shutout. He retired the first batter of the inning, but Brady Shoemaker followed with a double to center. That brought Zach Walters to the plate, who crushed the first pitch he saw for his 13th homer of the year. Lambson got Dante Bichette, Jr. to pop out, then Justin O’Conner blasted the first pitch to him over the wall in left for his 16th home run of the year. That gave the Saints the lead, 3-2.
Zach Jones came on in the bottom of the ninth and gave up a lead-off single, but then induced a double-play before striking out Grant Heyman to end the ballgame. That gave him his ninth save of the season.
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks lost 7-3 to the Chicago Dogs, securing the Saints spot in the post-season. They still hold a two game lead over the Gary Southshore RailCats as they look to win the North Division title for the third time in the last four years.
The Saints head home and begin a three-game series against the Chicago Dogs on Wednesday night at CHS Field at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send Chris Nunn (6-3, 3.23) against the Dogs Trevor Simms (2-4, 3.05).
By Robert Pannier