Trever Adams Leads St. Paul Saints 7-6 Victory Over RedHawks
The St. Paul Saints picked up after the All-Star break doing the same kinds of things that led them to the best record in the American Association before the break. Twice the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks tied the score in the game, only to see the Saints respond right away on their way to the 7-6 victory. Trever Adams two-run triple in fifth was the big blow and Ryan Rodebaugh closed out the game to extend his league leading save total.
The game got off to a good start for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Saints starter Eric Veglahn retired the first two hitters of the inning, but Keury De La Cruz singled to keep the inning alive and All-Star Josh Mazzola followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position with two outs. Next up was Brian Humphries, who lined a single to center field that scored both runners and put the RedHawks up 2-0.
Fargo-Moorhead starter Brian Ernst kept the Saints off the board in the first, but they would cut the deficit to one in the second. Willie Argo returned to the lineup for the first time after being out for two weeks with an injury. With one out he drilled a double over the center fielder’s head. Next up was Aaron Gretz, who grounded a ball down to the RedHawks first baseman, Dustin Geiger. Geiger had the ball hit off his glove and toward second base for an error. In attempting to still try to make a play on Gretz, he threw the ball away and Argo scored to make it 2-1.
In the third, Fargo-Moorhead extended their lead. De La Cruz led off the inning and drilled his 12th homer of the season over the left field fence. That made it 3-1.
The Saints responded with two runs in the bottom of the third. Alonzo Harris led off the inning with a single and then stole his 30th base of the season. Brady Burzynski followed with a single up the middle that scored Harris and it was 3-2. Two batters later Dan Johnson’s flare was just out of the reach of the shortstop and fell in for a base hit to put runners at first and second. Adams followed with a single that scored Burzynski to tie the score.
In the fourth, the Saints would use their speed to take the lead. Breland Almadova led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice. Harris followed with a hard single to center that put runners at the corners with just one out. Harris then broke for second for the stolen base, but was going to be nailed. He stopped and made the shortstop chase him back to first. That allowed Almadova to steal home to give the St. Paul Saints the 2-1 lead.
In the fifth, the RedHawks tied the score. Mazzola led off the inning and showed why he is an All-Star, ripping his 17th homer of the season over the left field wall to tie the score.
It did not stay tied for long. In the bottom half of the inning, Tony Thomas started the frame with a single and Johnson was then hit by a pitch. That brought Adams to the plate, who ripped a ball to the wall in center. Both runners came around to score as Adams reached third. He would score on an Argo base hit to make it 7-4.
In the seventh the RedHawks pulled within two. Geiger walked with two outs, and Charlie Valerio then drilled a towering drive over the right field fence for his seventh homerun of the season.
That made it a one-run game and brought a call to the bullpen for Caleb Thielbar. The lefty retired the final batter of the seventh as well as the side in the eighth. In the ninth, Ryan Rodebaugh came on and struck out the side to the end the game. For Rodebaugh that was his American Association leading 19th save of the season. Benji Waite (2-1) earned the win in relief.
Adams finished 2-4 with a run scored and 3-RBI. Argo had a great return, going 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Johnson had 2-hits and scored a run and Harris continued his hot streak, going 2-5. Mazzola and De La Cruz were both 2-5 with 2-runs scored and an RBI for Fargo-Moorhead.
These two teams will go again tomorrow. Mark Hamburger (11-1, 2.49) goes for the St. Paul Saints. Jose Almarante (1-1, 3.03) will start for the RedHawks. First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier