Two-Out Rally in Seventh Downs Saints; Canaries Win 7-4
A night after Grady Woods held the Wichita Wingnuts, the American Association’s top offense, to one-run over eight-innings, it was Troy Marks turn to deliver a huge outing, allowing 2-runs to the league’s third best offense, the St. Paul Saints. Marks combined with Jason Creasy in an outstanding pitchers’ duel, but the Canaries would score five-runs with two outs in the seventh to down St. Paul, 7-4. Former Saint Aaron Gretz got the rally started and Burt Reynolds had a huge two-run double in the victory.
After a scoreless first inning, St. Paul took the lead in the second. Tony Thomas, who had three-hits in the game, singled to start the inning and then stole second. Marks struck out Kes Carter and Maxx Garrett, but Jon Kristoffersen delivered a clutch-two out single to score Thomas and put the Saints up 1-0.
Creasy had kept Sioux Falls off the board through the first three innings, but the Canaries would finally break through in the fourth. Ty Morrison doubled to start the inning and, just like Marks, it looked like Creasy would get out of the inning unscathed when he retired the next two batters, but Blake Schmit singled up the middle to score Morrison to tie the game at one.
In the sixth, both teams would put up a run. In the top half of the inning, Chris Jacobs clubbed his American Association leading 15th homer of the season to give the Canaries the lead.
The Saints responded right away in the bottom half of the inning. Anthony Gallas singled with one out, then stole second. A base hit by Thomas moved him to third. Andrew Woeck took over for Marks and Carter greeted him with a base hit to score Gallas. The Saints looked like they could add to their lead, but a strike-‘em-out, throw-‘em-out double-play ended the threat.
In the top of the seventh, the Canaries would grab a commanding lead. Creasy retired the first two batters of the inning, but Gretz doubled to keep the frame going. Dan Motl then drew a walk, and Brandon Peterson came on for Creasy.
He walked Brett Marr, then walked the red-hot Jabari Henry, driving home Gretz. Morrison followed with a single that scored both Marr and Motl and, after Jacobs walked, Burt Reynolds doubled to left field to score two more, and the Sioux Falls Canaries had a 7-2 lead.
In the eighth, St. Paul took a bite out of that lead. Brady Shoemaker was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and Gallas followed with his 12th home run of the season. The Saints were within three, but would get no closer, as the Canaries won 7-4.
Andrew Woeck (3-0) earned the victory and Jose Ortega struck out 2 in the ninth for his seventh save of the season. Ty Morrison finished 2-5 with 2-runs scored and 2-RBI and Burt Reynolds drove in 2. The Saints were led by Anthony Gallas, who was 2-4 with 2-runs and 2-RBI, and Tony Thomas, who finished 3-4 with a run scored.
Game 2 of this four-game set is Tuesday night. Benji Waite (2-1, 1.64) will get the start for St. Paul. He will be opposed by Miles Nordgren (2-3, 6.26). Game time is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier