Willie Argo Helps St. Paul Saints Sail to 9-3 Victory
After being held hitless in yesterday’s double-header split with the Sioux Falls Canaries, Willie Argo responded with a 4-hit night leading the St. Paul Saints in a 9-3 victory. The win gives the Saints their 19th victory of the season and increases their lead in the North Division to 9.5 games.
The St. Paul Saints left no doubt in this one. It was 9-0 before Sioux Falls would get on the board, and Argo already had three hits by that point, including his third home run of the season.
The Saints got on the board with four first inning runs. With one out Mitch Elliot, filling in for the injured Mike Kvasnicka, walked and Argo singled to move Elliot to second. An infield single by Gac loaded the bases for Angelo Songco who ripped a single, scoring Elliot and staking St. Paul to a 1-0 lead. That increased Songco’s RBI total to 23, which leads the American Association. He would add a 24th RBI later in the game.
Next up was Vinny DiFazio, who singled scoring Agro and Gac and moving Songco to third. Joey Paciorek followed with a single to score Songco.
Sioux Falls Canaries starter Brett Gerritse has struggled early on in the season, and tonight was no exception. He entered the game 0-4, and the four first inning runs were not helping him to break the string. Unfortunately, it would not get better for him.
The top of the batting order came back around to start the top of the second inning. With one out Elliot doubled. Argo followed with a single that brought home Elliot and it was 5-0. Gac singled to move Argo to second, and Songco plated his second run of the game when he singled home Argo to make it a six-run Saints lead. DiFazio’s single scored Gac and ended the night for the Sioux Falls starter.
Gerritse (0-5) lasted just 1.1 innings before turning the game over to Josh Ferrell. He allowed 10 hits and a walk, and seven men scored. Ferrell retired the final two batters of the inning without any further runs scoring.
In the top of the third two more runs would come home. Anthony Phillips was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, but Ferrell was able to retire the next two batters. That brought Argo to the plate, who hammered his the two-run homer to make it 9-0.
Robert Coe started for the St. Paul Saints and he was delivering in the first three innings. The right-hander gave up a two out triple in the first and a lead-off single in the second, before retiring the side in order in the third.
In the fourth, the Sioux Falls Canaries finally got on the board. Brian Humphries walked and David Bergin doubled to move Humphries to third. That brought Richard Stock to the plate, who doubled, scoring both Humphries and Bergin to make it 9-2. That would be the last runs Coe would give up.
For the next four innings neither team could muster any offense. The Saints were retired in order in the fourth and fifth innings. They threatened in the eighth with two on and two out, but came away empty-handed.
Meanwhile, Coe was doing his job as well. He allowed two base runners in both the fifth and the sixth, but kept the Canaries off the scoreboard. In the seventh the righty retired the side in order. It would be his last inning of work. Coe (3-0) delivered his second outstanding outing since coming off the disabled list. He pitched 7 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs. He also struck out 6 in the 92 pitch performance.
The Canaries got one more run in the ninth inning. Mikey Mehlich, who was signed earlier in the day, came on in relief. The righty gave up a lead-off double to Jason Repko, and two batters later Edwin Gomez doubled to score Repko. That would be all the Sioux Falls Canaries would get.
While Coe pitched an outstanding game for St. Paul, the story of the game was the heart of the Saints order. The 3-6 hitters were 11-18 with 6 runs scored and 8 RBI. Songco and DiFazio each had two hits, with Songco driving in two and DiFazio three. Gac was 3-4 with two runs scored, and Argo was 4-5 with 3 runs and 3 RBI. That raised his average to .333.
By Robert Pannier
Read feature on Ian Gac here at the Minor League Sports Report