Saints Rack up 20 Hits, But Lose 12-11 and Are Swept by Canaries
SIOIUX FALLS, SD - The St. Paul Saints offense showed up in a big way on Thursday night at Sioux Falls Stadium. They peppered the field with hit after hit, 20 of them when all was said and done. Unfortunately, with an opportunity to win it in the bottom of the ninth inning they came up short losing 12-11 to the Sioux Falls Canaries and getting swept by the Birds as the home team in the Canaries ballpark.
With the Saints down a run in the bottom of the ninth JC Millan led off with a pinch-hit single to right. With one out, Justin Byrd singled to right sending Millan to third. That brought up Chris Chinea. He hit a broken bat looper in back of second that second baseman Ryan Long raced out and caught. Byrd was sliding into second as the ball was being caught and Long threw to first for the game ending double play.
The game was a back-and-forth affair and with the Saints up 8-5 in the seventh the Canaries scored seven unanswered runs over two innings. In the seventh, Jabari Henry reached on an infield single to third and that was followed by a Lago single to left-center. Damek Tomscha then drilled a three-run home run to right-center, his second of the season, tying the game at eight.
In the eighth the Canaries took the lead with four runs as Mike Hart started it with a one out double. With two outs Andrew Ely was intentionally walked and Jabari Henry walked to load the bases. The next three hitters all singled as Lago drove in two with a single past third baseman Chesny Young, and Tomscha and Clint Coulter singled home a run to make it 12-8.
The Saints fought back in the bottom of the inning when Chinea led off with a single. With two outs and Chinea at second, Chesny Young knocked him home with a single to center making it 12-9. After a pitching change Troy Alexander stepped to the plate and crushed his first professional home run, a two-run blast to right-center cutting the deficit to one, but the Saints would get no closer.
It was a rematch of the Opening Night starters, but neither fared well. The Canaries jumped on Eddie Medina in the third when Mike Hart led off with a double to right and KC Huth followed that with an RBI double making it 1-0 Canaries. Andrew Ely moved Huth to third with a single and two batters later Alay Lago knocked them both home with a double making it 3-0.
The Saints responded in the bottom of the inning off of Tyler Herron and ended a streak of 19 consecutive singles. Following a walk to Byrd, Chinea doubled him home cutting the deficit to 3-1. With two outs Mikey Reynolds tripled home Chinea making it 3-2. The Saints tied it at three on an RBI double by Young. After Alexander was hit by a pitch, Mitch Ghelfi gave the Saints the lead with an RBI single.
The teams traded two spots in the fourth with the Canaries taking the lead in the top half courtesy of a two-run homer by Logan Landon, his first of the season, making it 5-4.
The Saints started their bottom of the fourth off with a one out single by Byrd. Chinea then singled to center and centerfielder KC Huth's throw to third went awry allowing the runners to advance 90 feet. Byrd tried to score, but ran into the pitcher Herron and was awarded home on interference tying the game at five. Two batters later the Saints regained the lead on Reynolds RBI double.
The Saints tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the sixth when John Silviano singled with two outs. Reynolds followed with a double moving Silviano to third. An RBI single from Chesny Young and then a fielding error by second baseman Ryan Long on a ball hit by Troy Alexander gave the Saints an 8-5 lead.
Of the 20 players that got into the game, 18 of the had hits with all nine for the Canaries and nine of the 11 for the Saints.
The Saints head out on their first true roadtrip of the season beginning a three-game series against the Milwaukee Milkmen at Franklin Field at 6:35 p.m. on Friday night. The Saints send RHP Matt Solter (1-0, 0.00) to the mound against Milkmen LHP David Holmberg (1-0, 4.50). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
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