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A Little Mo: Saints Win Back-To-Back Games for First Time in Two Weeks, Win 8-5

July 4, 2018 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints News Release

FARGO, ND - This was an all-around team effort. The St. Paul Saints offense picked up where it left off in the ninth inning on Tuesday night. The bullpen was asked to go 8.1 innings and five relievers were able to get to the finish line as the Saints took down the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 8-5 at Newman Outdoor Field on Wednesday night. The win improves the Saints to 24-21 and they are back alone in first place. It was the first back-to-back wins since June 17 and 18.

The Saints jumped all over the newest RedHawk, pitcher Brandon Barker. In the first Max Murphy was hit by a pitch. Noah Perio Jr. extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single to right-center. Burt Reynolds then delivered a three-run homer to right, his ninth of the season, second in two games, and fifth in eight games with the Saints, to make it 3-0.

In the bottom of the first, however, Saints starter Ryan Zimmerman struggled with his control. After striking out the leadoff hitter he walked Maikol Gonzalez and Brennan Metzger. A single by Charlie Valerio loaded the bases. Keury De La Cruz' fielder's choice scored a run to make it 3-1. Zimmerman then walked Leobaldo Pina to load the bases and the Saints immediately went to their bullpen. Jake Matthys struck out Chris Jacobs to end the threat.

That momentum carried into the second as Matt Snyder walked and Anthony Phillips singled him to second. A sacrifice bunt by Jake Smith moved the runners up and Murphy came through with a two-run single to make it 5-1.

The Saints made it 6-1 in the third as they loaded the bases against Barker on a single by Dante Bichette Jr., a walk to Justin O'Conner, and a hit by pitch to Snyder. Barker left the game for reliever Benji Waite who got Phillips to ground into a double play, but a run scored.

The RedHawks got two in the fourth as De La Cruz walked against Matthys and moved to second on a Pina single. A double play moved De La Cruz to third. Tim Colwell collected his first of three doubles on the night knocking home De La Cruz to make it 6-2. A passed ball moved Colwell to third and he scored on a single by Yhoxian Medina to make it 6-3. Matthys faced one more batter before giving way to Beck Wheeler. Matthys went 3.0 innings allowing two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out one. Wheeler tossed 1.1 scoreless innings allowing one hit and striking out three.

The Saints built their lead to five in the sixth when Phillips walked and, with two outs, Murphy hit a two-run shot to right-center, his first of the season, to make it 8-3. Murphy went 3-4 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored.

Ken Frosch tossed 0.2 inning of scoreless relief and extended his scoreless streak to 20.2 innings, having not allowed a run all season. The streak is the third longest in franchise history.

In the eighth the Saints got to hard throwing reliever Zack Jones. Working his second inning of relief he walked Chris Jacobs and gave up a double to Colwell. Mike Devine took over for Jones and gave up an RBI bloop single to Medina making it 8-4. A fielding error by Perio Jr. on a ball hit by Devan Ahart allowed Colwell to score and make it a three-run game. Jones went 1.1 innings allowing two runs on one hit while walking two and striking out two.

Devine finished off the rest of the game and went 1.2 shutout innings allowing two hits while striking out two.

The Saints have Thursday off and return to action on Friday night at CHS Field against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (3-2, 2.01) to the mound and the Saltdogs are TBA. It is Xcel Energy Friday Night Fireworks featuring the music of ABBA. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on Alt 93.3 FM.

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