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Saints Pull One Out, Beat Dogs 2-1 in 15-Inning Marathon

August 25, 2019 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints News Release

ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints and Chicago Dogs laid it all on the line in the first game of their crucial four-game series at CHS Field. Both teams' pitching staffs were superb and went toe-to-toe all night long. In the end, Chris Baker came through with an RBI single to right with two out in the bottom of the 15th inning and the Saints came away with a 2-1 win. The walkoff improves the Saints to 57-34 on the season and extends their lead over the Dogs to 3.0 games in the wild card race with nine game remaining.

The Saints carried a 1-0 lead into the ninth and Tanner Kiest came on to try to earn the save for the Saints. He began the inning by walking Trey Vavra and Gustavo Pierre. After striking out pinch-hitter Mitchell Kranson, he allowed a ringing double to the left field wall off the bat of David Olmedo-Barrera. Vavra scored to tie the game, but Pierre was cut down at the plate on a 7-5-2 relay. Once Young's throw came to the plate, Olmedo-Barrera took off for third and Jeremy Martinez gunned him down after applying the tag on Pierre.

A winner finally emerged in the bottom of the 15th. Goossen-Brown hit Blake Schmit with a pitch to start the inning. Motl then sacrificed him to second with one out. Lang flew out to center and Shoemaker was intentionally walked with two down. That's when Baker came to the plate and ripped a base-hit to right field. Schmit came around to score and the Saints finished off a 2-1 victory.

Ryan Zimmerman got the start for the Saints and turned in an outstanding effort. He threw 7.0+ shutout innings, walked two and struck out five. He escaped two key jams. In the top of the third, Rey Gonzalez reached on a throwing error by Chesny Young and two batters later, Edwin Arroyo drew a walk. With two out, Zimmerman got Keon Barnum to pop out to short to end the threat. Then in the fifth, Pierre led off with a double to right. Three batters later, Arroyo was hit by a pitch. Once again, Zimmerman retired Barnum to get out of trouble, this time on a sharp liner to right that Michael Lang snared on the warning track.

On the other side, Chicago's D.J. Snelten also shined. He hurled 7.0 innings, allowed just four hits, struck out seven and did not issue a walk. The only run he allowed came across in the bottom of the second. With two outs in the frame, John Silviano doubled down the left field line. Young followed with a clutch RBI single to right-center, giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.

Ken Frosch and Karch Kowalczyk combined to get the Saints through the eighth inning unscathed. Lefty Casey Crosby did the job himself for the Dogs, stranding Young at second in the bottom half by getting Lang to fly out to left.

That's where two other pitchers became the story. Chris Lee for the Saints and Justin Goossen-Brown for the Dogs. Lee came on in the 11th and mowed the Chicago bats down. He fired 5.0 perfect innings of relief, giving his offense every opportunity to win the game. However, Saints hitters found that tough to do against Goossen-Brown. The rookie took over in the 10th and loaded the bases with two out. He then got Lang to pop out to second to keep the game going.

In the 13th, the Saints loaded the bases against him with nobody out. Dan Motl and Lang started the inning with back-to-back singles and Brady Shoemaker was then hit by a pitch. After that, Goossen-Brown struck out Baker and got Martinez to roll one to Jordan Dean at third. Dean stepped on the third base bag and fired across to first to complete the 5-3 double play.

The four-hour, 40-minute contest is the sixth-longest game in terms of time in Saints franchise history. It's tied for the second-longest game in terms of innings (5/29/2017 vs. Cleburne and 5/29/19 @ Lincoln). The Saints have now played in 35 one-run games this season. They are two shy of tying the all-time league record of 37, set by the Wichita Wingnuts in 2009. That Wichita team also holds the record for most wins in one-run games at 21. The Saints are one such win away from tying that mark.

Both teams play game two of their four-game set Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. at CHS Field. RHP Landon Beck (5-2, 3.86) starts for the Saints, while LHP Jake Dahlberg (8-6, 4.90) goes for Chicago. It's the final installment of the City of Baseball Museum Series at the ballpark. The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive a Lexington Park pennant. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM and seen on KSTC-TV, 45TV.

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