Tony Caldwell Continues Hot Spell in St. Paul Saints 6-1 Victory
Sweeping a division rival is always a good way to lay down the gauntlet, but doing it on the road is especially sweet. Led by the bat of catcher Tony Caldwell and the arm of left-hander Kody Knaus, the St. Paul Saints defeated the Winnipeg Goldeyes 6-1 to sweep the three-game series. The victory moved the Saints to 22-9, giving them a six-game lead in the North Division and four-game lead overall in the American Association.
Ethan Carnes started for Winnipeg and looked sharp through the first two frames, but his second time through the order was not as sharp. In the top of the third Chad Christensen continued his hot start with the team, singling to center to start the frame. Maxx Garrett laid down a perfect sacrifice to move the runner to second and two batters later Breland Almadova beat out a ground ball to short to put runners at the corners with two-outs. The Saints needed a clutch hit out of Nate Hanson and he delivered just that, singling to left field to score Christensen and give the Saints the 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, St. Paul added two more runs. Back-to-back singles by Tony Thomas and Willie Argo got the inning started. Next up was Caldwell, who grounded out, scoring Thomas. A double by Garrett brought home Argo and the Saints were up 3-0.
On this day, that would be all that Knaus (2-1) would need for run support. The left-hander allowed just two-hits through the first five innings, and Winnipeg never really got any kind of a rally going.
In the sixth, his team would extend his lead. Thomas walked to start the inning and Argo followed with a double that moved Thomas to third. Next up was Caldwell, who drilled a three-run homer to extend the lead to 6-0. It was his fifth homerun of the season and third in two games. Caldwell finished 2-4 for the day, increasing his average to .419. That also extended his hitting streak to five-games, and gave him 10-RBI in the three-game series against the Goldeyes.
In the bottom of the sixth, Winnipeg was finally able to get a run against Knaus. Ridge Hoopii-Haslam singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. He scored when David Rohm delivered a clutch two-out single to make the score 6-1.
That is how the game ended. The St. Paul bullpen was excellent over the final three innings. Benji Waite pitched two scoreless innings and Caleb Thielbar pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two.
Knaus pitched 6-innings, allowing 5-hits, 1-earned run and 2-walks. He struck out 2, and has allowed just 1-run in his last 11.2 innings pitched.
Argo continues to heat up, seeing his hit streak reach six-games. He has six-hits in his last 9 at-bats, and has seen his average raise nearly 50-points in the last eight games. Almadova also had three-hits.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes are off on Monday. The St. Paul Saints continue their six-game road trip, heading to Sioux City to start a three-game series with the Explorers. Game time Monday night is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier