Pitching Performance That Is Second to Nunn, Saints Two-Hit Saltdogs in Snapping Five Game Home Losing Streak, 3-1
ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints were finally able to celebrate in front of their home fans on Saturday night at CHS. Behind the left arm of Chris Nunn and relievers Mike Devine and Zack Jones, the Saints two-hit the Lincoln Saltdogs winning 3-1 to snap their five-game home losing streak in front of 8,454. The win improved the Saints to 25-22 on the season and they maintained their 0.5 game lead in the North Division.
Nunn got off to a rocky start giving up a solo home run to the leadoff hitter Christian Ibarra, his seventh of the season, and then hitting the next batter, T.J. Bennett. After that Nunn found his groove. He struck out Angel Reyes and then got Curt Smith to hit into an inning ending double play.
Nunn put it in cruise control after that retiring the side in order from the second through the fifth, a total of 14 hitters in a row. In the sixth Dashenko Ricardo led off with a double to left-center, but Nunn left him stranded there by getting Ivan Marin to line out to third and fly outs by Ibarra and Bennett. Nunn went 6.0 innings allowing one run on two hits while striking out five.
The Saints offense did their job by tying the game up in the second. With one out Justin O'Conner doubled to left to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He moved to third on a fly out by Noah Perio Jr. After a walk to Dante Bichette Jr., Anthony Phillips hit a check swing looper into shallow right that scored O'Conner to tie the game at one.
In the third Kyle Barrett led off with a single to center and Burt Reynolds followed with a no doubt two-run blast to left, his 10th of the season and sixth with the Saints in 10 games, to make it 3-1, the last runs scored in the game. Reynolds went 2-4 with a double, a home run, two RBI, and a run scored.
That was all the Saints needed as Devine and Jones did the rest. The only runner the two allowed was a walk by Devine with two outs in the seventh. He went 2.0 hitless, shutout innings walking one and striking out one.
Jones picked up his first save with the Saints by throwing a perfect ninth and striking out two.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP Matt Solter (1-3, 4.30) to the mound against Saltdogs LHP Kyle Kinman (3-1, 2.93). The first 1,000 adults and 1,000 kids receive a Saints replica jersey. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities area, and heard on Alt 93.3 FM.
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