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Saints Flex Their Muscles in 10-1 Win over RedHawks

August 17, 2018 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints News Release

ST. PAUL - The St. Paul Saints came into Friday night as the top hitting team in the month of August. They remained true to that title and got a dominant starting pitching performance, throttling the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at CHS Field, in front of 8,579, by a final score of 10-1. The win improves the Saints to 49-36 and they remain a 0.5 game ahead of Gary SouthShore for first place in the North Division, with 15 to go. The Saints built a 3.0 game lead on the RedHawks for a playoff spot.

After receiving the loss in his last appearance versus the RedHawks, Saints starter Jake Matthys bounced back on Friday night. He went 6.1 innings allowing one unearned run, scattering four hits while walking two and striking out six. Matthys retired the first six batters he faced, which allowed time for the offense to give him a comfortable cushion.

The Saints pounded a season-tying high 18 hits with everyone getting in on the act and it began in the first. After RedHawks starter Michael Tamburino loaded the bases with a walk and two hit batsmen, Dante Bichette Jr. lined an infield single off of first baseman Charlie Valerio, to make it 1-0 and extend his hitting streak to 17 games.

In the third Burt Reynolds, who was hit in the hand his first time up, stayed in the game and singled to begin the frame. After a Brady Shoemaker single, the hero from Thursday night, Zach Walters, drove in Reynolds and gave the Saints a 2-0 lead.

The Saints continued the trend of scoring five or more runs in an inning, which they accomplished in the previous four games, with a five-run fourth. Justin O'Conner led off with his 12th home run of the season and Joey Wong followed with a double. Max Murphy then blasted a no-doubt homer to left, his fifth of the season, to extend the lead to 5-0. With two outs, Shoemaker restarted the rally with a double off the left-center field wall and then Walters brought him home with an RBI single. After a Bichette Jr. base hit, Nathaniel Maggio looped a ball into left field to bring home Shoemaker, making it 7-0. With the hit, Maggio extended his own career streak to 19 games, tied for the eighth longest in Saints history.

The lone unearned run Matthys allowed reached in the sixth on an error by Bichette Jr. and then eventually came around to score on a Devan Ahart sacrifice fly. That was the only run Matthys allowed as he induced two double plays and struck out the last batter in four of six innings.

The Saints pushed their final three runs across in the eighth. With one out, Reynolds and Shoemaker hit back-to-back home runs, becoming the 30th pair of Saints to accomplish the feat and the first since earlier this season on May 26th. The four home runs on the night also tied a Saints season-high. With one out, Bichette Jr. doubled and moved to third on an infield single by Maggio. Bichette Jr. scored the final run of the game on a wild pitch.

The same two teams meet in the series finale on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field. The Saints will send LHP Chris Nunn (5-2, 2.83) to the mound against RHP Trey McNutt (5-7, 5.68). It is Isaac Newton's Birthday Bash presented by Hamline University. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on Alt 93.3 FM.

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