Saints Extend Wild Card Lead to Two with 6-2 Win Over Wingnuts
ST. PAUL, MN (August 8, 2011) - From one important series to the next for the St .Paul Saints. After finishing up a series with the Winnipeg Goldeyes, who they are battling for the North Division lead, they welcomed in the Wichita Wingnuts who trailed them by 1.0 game for the wild card and in the end the Saints took the first game of the four game series 6-2 on Monday night at Midway Stadium in front of 3,992.
The Saints managed just two hits through the first seven innings, but took a 2-1 lead into the eighth and finally broke through. Steve Mays led off with a double to left and with one out Ronnie Bourquin was intentionally walked. Wingnuts starter Derek Blacksher was removed for reliever Marcos Tabata. The Saints would get to him and it started with an RBI single from Ole Sheldon. After a strikeout of Jason Cooper, Argelis Nunez, Richard Mercado and Jonathan Van Every each came through with RBI singles to make it 6-1. The insurance runs proved important because the Wingnuts put together a little rally in the ninth.
Edwin Bellorin led off with a double and with two outs Josh Horn reached on an infield single to second. After Juan Richardson walked to load the bases, Carlos Rivera's grounder to Mercado at first glanced off his glove and allowed Bellorin to score on the error and bring the tying run to the plate in Gerardo Bustamante. He would hit a grounder up the middle that second baseman Adam Frost backhanded and flipped to second to end the game.
The Saints got a spectacular pitching performance from Alberto Rolon who hurled 7.0 innings allowing one run on seven hits while walking two and striking out seven. The lone run he gave up came in the sixth when he hit Richardson and gave up back-to-back singles to Rivera and Bustamante to make it 2-1 Saints. With the tying and go ahead runs in scoring position after a wild pitch he struck out Josh Workman and got Peter Barrows to fly out.
The Saints got on the board in the second on a double by Nunez and he scored on an error by shortstop Horn off the bat of Mercado to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth Mercado singled, Van Every walked and the two moved up on a sacrifice bunt from Alex Garabedian. Mays' sacrifice fly made it 2-0.
The same two teams meet in game two of the four game series on Tuesday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. The Saints send LHP Kyle Carr (1-1, 4.53) to the mound against Wingnuts RHP Nick Singleton (10-1, 2.99). It is a Tuesday matinee with a B-Move acted out by an improv group throughout the game. The game can be heard live on saintsbaseball.com courtesy of the Minnesota Sports Broadcast Network and heard on a tape delay at 6:00 p.m. on Relevant Radio 1330.
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