Pitchers Duel One Sided as Saints Lose to RedHawks 7-1
ST. PAUL, MN - St. Paul Saints starter Matt Solter entered Wednesday afternoon's game as the top pitcher in the American Association. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks starter, Sebastian Kessay, had the sixth best ERA. Unfortunately for the Saints, it wasn't much of a duel as Solter was knocked out in the second inning and the Saints lost 7-1 at CHS Field in front of 8,844.
Solter entered the game having given up just five runs in his first four starts of the season. He gave up nearly that many in the first as Brennan Metzger led off with a double and Maikol Gonzalez followed with a two-run homer to left, his second of the season, making it 2-0 RedHawks. After back-to-back strikeouts, Leobaldo Pina slugged a solo homer to left, his first of the season, making it 3-0. Tommy Mendonca doubled and Tim Colwell singled him home to make it 4-0.
In the second Yhoxian Medina led off with an infield single to short. Steve Zimmerman was hit by a pitch and, with one out, Gonzalez made it 5-0 with an RBI single to left. That was the day for Solter who went 1.1 innings allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out three.
The Saints rookie right-hander Ryan Zimmerman, making just his second appearance since being signed out of St. Thomas, was brilliant taking over for Solter. He retired the first 13 batters he faced after entering the game with one out in the second. The lone hit he allowed was a two-out single to Colwell in the sixth. Zimmerman went 4.2 shutout innings allowing one hit while striking out five.
The Saints offense, on the other hand, couldn't do anything against Kessay. He hit Brady Shoemaker with two outs in the first, but then retired the next 12 batters before Justin O'Conner broke up the no-hitter with two outs in the fifth with a broken bat single to right.
In the sixth the Saints put the first two on with back-to-back singles by JJ Gould and Josh Allen. The single by Allen extended his hitting streak to 14-games. Max Murphy, who was tied for first in the league in grounding into double plays, grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Shoemaker fouled out to end the inning.
With the Saints trailing 5-0 in the seventh they finally got to Kessay. With one out Jayce Boyd singled to left and Richard Prigatano walked. O'Conner lined a single into left-center to load the bases. Kes Carter would strike out for the second out of the inning. Gould walked to force in the lone run on the game for the Saints making it 5-1. Allen, struck out looking to end the inning.
The RedHawks tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the eighth when Mendonca hit his third homer of the season, a solo shot to right, making it 6-1. With two outs Medina singled to center. Zimmerman hit a grounder to third that Dante Bichette Jr. misplayed as the ball rolled into left field. Left fielder Richard Prigatano then fumbled the ball with his barehand, as he reached down to pick up the ball, allowing Medina to score courtesy of the two errors on the play.
The Saints take Thursday off and are back in action on Friday as they make their first ever visit to Impact Field to take on the Chicago Dogs at 7:05 p.m. Both teams are TBA. The game can be heard on Alt 93.3 FM.
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