Tsamis Reaches Win No. 950, Saints Prevail, 9-2
ST. PAUL, MN (September 2, 2020) – George Tsamis has been the winningest manager in franchise history since 2007. He joined an exclusive club in 2018, winning his 1000th game overall as a manager. And on Wednesday night at CHS Field he notched win number 950 as manager of the St. Paul Saints as his club came up big offensively against the stingiest pitching team in the league, the Milwaukee Milkmen, while allowing just two hits in a 9-2 victory. The Saints will either remain 2.5 games out of a playoff spot or get to within 1.5 games, with seven to go, depending on the outcome of Sioux Falls’ game with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
The Saints had given up a run before the fourth inning in eight straight games, but on Wednesday night they were the ones to score early. Facing former Major Leaguer Drew Hutchison, the Saints used the long ball. With two outs in the first Max Murphy walked and Alonzo Harris followed with a two-run homer to left, his fifth of the season, giving the Saints a 2-0 lead.
In the third, Mitch Ghelfi led off with a walk and Mikey Reynolds doubled him to third. Chuck Taylor crushed a three-run homer to right, his first in four games with the Saints, making it 5-0.
The only hit Saints starter Nick Belzer gave up was a solo homer to Adam Brett Walker in the fourth, his league leading 21st of the season, cutting the Saints lead to 5-1. Belzer went 5.0 innings allowing one run on one hit while walking one and striking out five.
The Saints put the game away in the fifth with a four-run inning as they chased Hutchison. Ghlefi led off with a walk and Reynolds singled him to second. Hutchison departed for reliever Zach Hartman. Ghefli was then caught too far off of second and the catcher, Christian Correa, threw down to second and Ghelfi raced to third for a stolen base. Murphy knocked him home with a single making it 6-1. A walk to Harris loaded the bases and Chris Chinea, who leads the league with 23 doubles, cleared the bases with a double to right-center giving the Saints a 9-1 lead.
The Saints bullpen was once again spectacular as Aaron Brown (1.0 inning), Paul Voelker (2.0 innings) and Matt Pobereyko (1.0 inning) allowed one unearned run on one hit while striking out seven.
Overall, Tsamis is now 1,133-934 and 950-761 as the manager of the Saints. Prior to Tsamis, Marty Scott was the winningest manager in franchise history with 264 wins.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three-game series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (4-3, 5.02) against Milkmen RHP Tim Dillard (1-0, 2.00). The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, streamed at aabseball.tv, and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints