Saints Fall in Final Game of Homestand to RedHawks 8-4
ST. PAUL - The St. Paul Saints finished a 25-game stretch without an off-day and 10-game homestand, both the longest of the season, on Saturday night. The Saints could not end on a high note and were defeated 8-4 by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at CHS Field in front of 8,625. They finished the stretch a solid 16-9 and 7-3 on the homestand. The loss drops the Saints to 49-37 and 0.5 game behind the Gary SouthShore RailCats for first place in the North Division, with 14 to go. The Saints lead over the RedHawks shrunk to 2.0 games for the second playoff spot.
The Saints failed to muster 10 hits for the first time in nine games due to the performance of RedHawks starter Trey McNutt. The right-hander struck out 14 batters, a season high of any Saints opponent, including six in a row at one point. The second, third and fourth strikeouts in that string included an immaculate sixth inning, three strikeouts on nine pitches. He allowed three runs on six hits.
On the other side, Saints starter Chris Nunn could not match his opponent and only threw 4.2 innings, allowing all eight runs (five earned) on nine hits. He walked one and struck out two, taking his third loss of the season.
Despite the lack of runs, the Saints struck first in the first inning. After McNutt walked Kyle Barrett and Burt Reynolds with one out, Brady Shoemaker grounded a ball through the left side that scored Barrett and gave the Saints a 1-0 lead.
The RedHawks tied the game in the second, when Keury De La Cruz lined a ball into the right field corner. On the play, right fielder Max Murphy tried to throw De La Cruz out at third, but the ball got past third baseman Dante Bichette Jr. and De La Cruz scored.
Each of the next two innings, the RedHawks would strike for three runs.
In the third, with two on and nobody out, ex-Saint Tim Colwell doubled to left to bring in the first run giving the RedHawks a 2-1 lead. Then, with two outs, Leobaldo Pina singled to right center that scored two more making it 4-1.
In the fourth, with the bases loaded and two outs, Colwell cleared them with a double down the left field line and extended the lead to 7-1. The RedHawks scored six of their eight runs with two outs on the evening.
In the bottom of the frame, the Saints closed the gap with a two-run home run from Bichette Jr., his seventh of the season, extending his hitting streak to 17 games, making it 7-3.
The RedHawks got their final run in the fifth on a two out single from Devan Ahart, extending the lead to 8-3.
Scraping one more run across in the eighth Kyle Barrett led off the inning with a single, hitting safely for a 14th consecutive game. Three wild pitches plated Barrett and concluded the scoring for the Saints.
In the bottom of the inning reliever Beck Wheeler began a stretch of six straight strikeouts to end the game, tying a career-high.
Nathaniel Maggio's 19-game hitting streak came to a close, going 0-4.
The Saints hit the road for a 10-day, eight-game road trip that begins Monday night at Sioux Falls Stadium against the Sioux Falls Canaries at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (8-4, 2.52) to mound and the Canaries are TBA. The game can be heard on Alt 93.3 FM.
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