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Saints Break Skid with 6-5 Victory over Goldeyes

September 2, 2018 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints News Release

ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints, looking to take momentum into the playoffs, took a step in the right direction on Sunday night. After dropping their previous three games, the Saints got back on track by besting the Winnipeg Goldeyes 6-5, at CHS Field, in front of 8,549. The win improves the Saints to 58-41 and, with the Gary SouthShore RailCats still in progress, move a 0.5 back for the division lead, with one game to go.

Not wasting any time, the Saints got to Goldeyes starter Mitchell Lambson for four runs in the first inning. Max Murphy led off with a double to right-center and then Kyle Barrett drove him home with a double down the left-field line to make it 1-0. The double marked Barrett's 26th consecutive game with a hit, moving him into a tie for second place all-time in Saints history. Dante Bichette Jr. singled in Barrett to give the Saints a 2-0 lead and then scored later on a wild pitch, making it 3-0. The final run came home after a throwing error from third baseman Josh Mazzola allowing Justin O'Conner to score and make it 4-0.

From there the Saints bats fell silent against Lambson, mustering only three base runners in the next five frames. Meanwhile, the Goldeyes began to chip away in the third.

With runners on second and third and one out, Grant Heyman sent a ground ball to third base. Bichette Jr., trying to throw the runner out at home, instead hit the runner and the ball caromed behind home plate. After the catcher O'Conner retrieved it, he spun and threw down to second, but over the head of Trevor Sealey. The two errors on the same play allowed two unearned runs to score and the lead was cut to 4-2.

The Goldeyes tied the game in the fourth after starting the frame with a pair of singles off of Saints starter Trevor Foss. Then, with one out, Gavin Stupienski singled in a run to make it 4-3 and two batters later, Romanski delivered a two-out RBI single to tie the game. Foss ended up tossing 5.0 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on 10 hits while striking out two and walking none.

The game remained tied at four until the seventh. The Goldeyes scored the go-ahead run with an RBI single by Josh Mazzola. The Saints responded in the bottom half of the inning when Joey Wong reached on a leadoff single. A wild pitch moved him to second and a Kyle Barrett groundout allowed him to reach third. Then, with two outs, Wong scored on another wild pitch to tie the game at five.

The Saints scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth after Zach Walters led off with a single. Then, after Goldeyes reliever Brandon Bingel entered, Bichette Jr. walked and O'Conner flew out to right. Zach Walters tagged up and went to third on the play, putting runners at the corners. Sealey then beat out a fielder's choice, allowing Walters to come home and give the Saints their final 6-5 lead.

Reliever Mike Devine came in to close the game and recorded his fifth save of the season with a one, two, three ninth inning. The Saints used a total of five relievers, getting a record-setting performance from Beck Wheeler. Entering the night tied for most strikeouts ever in a single-season by an American Association reliever, Wheeler struck out the first batter he faced to register number 93.

The same two teams meet Monday morning at CHS Field for the series and season finale at 11:05 a.m. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (6.80, 1-2) to mound against Goldeyes RHP Alex Boshers (3-10, 5.40). It is the final game of the regular season on a Metropolitan State University Minnesota Monday. 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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