August 12, 2017 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints
ST. PAUL, MN - Mark Hamburger started for the St. Paul Saints on Thursday night at CHS Field and consequently there was a dominating performance on the mound, but it wasn't Hamburger. Sioux Falls Canaries starter Miles Nordgren, who came in with a 5.02 ERA, tossed a complete game two-hit shutout as the Saints lost 7-0 in front of 8,532. The loss drops the Saints to 41-35 and they are now 3.5 games out of the Wild Card and 4.0 games back in the North Division.
Tim Colwell led off the game with a bunt single, but in a sign of things to come Nordgren's throw to first got by first baseman Chris Jacobs. Second baseman Tyler Wolfe was there to back up the play, but Colwell took one step towards second and as he tried to get back to first, Wolfe threw to Jacobs who tagged out Colwell. Danny Oh followed with a walk, but Nate Hanson grounded into a double play. Hanson went 0-4 and his 20 game hitting streak came to an end. During the streak Hanson was 33-87, a .379 average. The streak tied for the sixth longest in Saints history.
In the second Kes Carter reached on a two out fielding error by the second baseman Wolfe, but Nordgren got Mitch Delfino to hit a comebacker to end the inning.
In the third the Saints recorded their second and final hit of the night when Maxx Garrett led off with a bloop single to right. Nordgren would retire the other three hitters in the inning which began a string of 10 straight men he retired.
In the sixth the Saints got their final base runner of the night when Colwell walked with one out, but Nordgren got Oh on a comebacker and struck out Hanson. Nordgren tossed his first career complete game shutout going 9.0 innings allowing two hits while walking two and striking out three.
Hamburger ran into trouble in the second inning when Jacobs led off with a single to right. With one out Patrick Fiala doubled him to third. A walk to Aaron Gretz loaded the bases, but Hamburger struck out Blake Schmit for the second out of the inning. With the bases loaded and two outs Hamburger walked Dan Motl to force in a run and make it 1-0 Canaries. Ty Morrison made it 2-0 when he was hit by a pitch. That brought up Burt Reynolds who crushed a grand slam over the left-center field wall, his 11th of the season, making it 6-0.
After a leadoff single in the third Hamburger retired 10 in a row until the sixth when, with one out, Patrick Fiala hit a solo homer to right, his fourth of the season, that put the finishing touches on the Canaries scoring. Hamburger went 7.0 innings allowing seven runs on six hits while walking two and striking out nine.
It was the fewest amount of hits for the Saints this season, and fewest since they were one hit on July 19, 2016 at Winnipeg.
The same two teams meet in game two of the four game series on Friday night at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP Benji Waite (4-3, 3.15) to the mound against Canaries LHP Joe Bircher (4-5, 4.37). It is Xcel Energy Friday Night Fireworks with the Sounds of Summer Music. Plus the first 1,500 fans receive earbuds presented by Securian Financial. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on Club 1220 KLBB.