Saints Power Their Way to 5-4 Victory over AirHogs
ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints needed Jake Matthys to go deep into the game on Monday night. He gave them everything he had in going 7.0+ innings and the offense provided all their runs via the long ball, two by Josh Allen. It was all enough as they hung on for a 5-4 victory over the Texas AirHogs at CHS Field in front of 7,345. The win improves the Saints to 25-11, the best record in the American Association.
Allen provided run support in the second when Brady Shoemaker walked and Burt Reynolds singled to left. Allen then unloaded on a three-run shot to left, his first of the night and eighth of the season, giving the Saints a 3-0 lead. Allen has now hit safely in 12 straight games.
Saints starter Jake Matthys was on his game early retiring the first nine men he faced. In the fourth he got an unlucky break when Josh Prince hit a routine fly ball to left, but left fielder Blake Schmit slipped on his initial break towards the ball and Prince wound up with a double. Luo Jinjun sacrificed Prince to third and Stewart Ijames' groundout scored Prince making it 3-1.
In the sixth the AirHogs tied the game up when Jinjun led off with a single to right-center. With one out Brett Eibner singled to right-center putting runners at first and second. A fly out by Jonathan Moroney advanced Jinjun to third. Yang Jin's RBI single to left scored Jijun and moved Eibner to second cutting the Saints lead to one. Lu Yuheng then hit a grounder to short that Joey Wong fielded and threw to first, but Brady Shoemaker couldn't handle the throw and Eibner scored on the error by Shoemaker, tying the game at three.
The Saints wasted little time in regaining the lead in the bottom of the inning getting back-to-back home runs by Allen, his second of the night and eighth of the season, and Chesny Young, his third of the season, making it 5-3.
In the eighth Matthys gave up a leadoff homer to Eibner and then Moroney singled to left. Matthys departed for left-handed reliever Jordan Jess. Moroney would steal second and advanced to third on a passed ball, but Jess was able to strike out three straight hitters and leave the tying run at third. Matthys went 7.0+ innings allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits while walking one and striking out three.
Todd Van Steensel worked a perfect ninth for his 10th save of the season.
The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (1-1, 5.56) to the mound against AirHogs RHP Zech Lemond (0-5, 6.51). It is Disco Premonition Night presented by Twin Cities Orthopedics. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities.
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