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Saints improve with 10-2 Win

June 20, 2017 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints News Release

SIOUX FALLS, SD (June 19, 2017) - What he starts he often finishes. With the former record holder and man he was tied with sitting in the opposing dugout as pitching coach of the Sioux Falls Canaries, Ben Moore had a front row seat to history. Mark Hamburger made sure the passing of the torch was easy on Monday night at Sioux Falls Stadium. For the 15th time in his St. Paul Saints career Hamburger tossed a complete game, setting an American Association record, as the Saints won 10-2. The win improved the Saints to 20-10 on the season and at least a 2.0 game lead in the North Division.

Hamburger had it going all night long as he gave up just two singles through the first four innings. In the fifth with the Saints up 2-0 his former battery mate, Aaron Gretz, grounded a double down the first base line. With two outs Dan Motl doubled him home to make it 2-1.

The Saints offense gave Hamburger plenty of breathing room when he took the mound in the seventh with an 8-1 lead. The long layoff might have affected Hamburger just a little as Ty Morrison, the leadoff man in the inning, hit an 0-2 pitch over the right field wall, his fifth of the season. Patrick Fiala followed with a double, but Hamburger settled down after that and got the next six hitters.

He took the mound in the ninth and retired the first two hitters he faced before giving up back-to-back singles to Fiala and Gretz. Hamburger then made his 113th pitch of the night, 89th for a strike and got B.J. Guinn to pop out to second to end the game and give Hamburger the record.

Even more impressive is how few games it took to get to the record. Moore recorded 14 complete games in 121 starts while it took Hamburger just 48 starts to get to number 15.

The Saints offense made sure there was no doubt Hamburger would get it Monday night. In the second Tim Colwell hit a solo homer to right, his second of the season. Maxx Garrett then walked, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a single by Danny Oh.

Canaries starter Miles Nordgren then settled down and gave up just one single from the third through the sixth. In the seventh, however, the flood gates opened. Colwell led off with a single to right-center and Garrett dropped down a bunt single. After Jon Kristoffersen moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt, Oh crushed one over the right field wall, his fourth of the season, to make it 5-1. Tanner Vavra then tripled and with two outs the Saints got three straight RBI hits: Brady Shoemaker's single, Anthony Gallas' triple and Tony Thomas' single to make it 8-1.

In the eighth a Danny Oh sacrifice fly and a wild pitch finished the scoring for the Saints. Oh set a career high with five RBI going 2-4 with a home run and a run scored.

The same two teams meet in the second game of the three game series on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (2-0, 0.90) to the mound against Canaries LHP Joe Bircher (2-3, 5.16). The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.

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