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Saints Slug Way into First, Crush Season High Five Home Runs in 9-5 Victory over Canaries

August 20, 2018 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints News Release

SIOUX FALLS, SD - During their recent 10-game homestand the Saints slugged 19 home runs, including back-to-back four homer games. One of those came against the Sioux Falls Canaries. On Monday night at Sioux Falls Stadium the long ball barrage continued as the Saints hit a season high five home runs, the most since July 25, 2016, as they dropped the Canaries 9-5. The win improves the Saints to 50-37 and they took over sole possession of first place, by 1.0 game, because of Gary SouthShore's loss to Chicago. They also remained 2.0 games up on a playoff spot over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks with 13 games left.

The home run barrage started in the second as Zach Walters led off with a walk and Dante Bichette Jr. lined one just inside the pole in right for his first of the night and eighth of the season, to make it 2-0. The home run also extended Bichette Jr's hitting streak to a Saints season tying high 19 straight.

In the third Max Murphy led off by being hit by a pitch. Kyle Barrett walked and with one out Brady Shoemaker drilled one the other way over the right-center field wall, his 12th of the season, making it 5-0. Two batters later Bichette Jr. came calling again with a solo shot to right-center, his second of the night and ninth of the season, making it 6-0. Bichette Jr. finished the night 2-4 with two home runs, three RBI and two runs scored.

With the Saints up 6-2 in the seventh two more balls left the park. First, Justin O'Conner led off the inning with a solo blast to left, his 13th of the season, giving the Saints a 7-2 lead. Two batters later Max Murphy extended his hitting streak to 12 with a frozen rope just inside the pole in left, his sixth of the season, making it 8-2.

The only other run the Saints scored came on a sacrifice fly by Nathaniel Maggio in the eighth.

Saints ace Eddie Medina was sharp once again. He entered play with the fourth best ERA in the American Association and did nothing to diminish that. He retired the first eight men he faced before running into trouble in the fourth. Mitch Glasser led off with a double to right-center. Medina then struck out David Bergin, but the ball bounced away from the catcher O'Conner and Bergin reached while Glasser took third. After a wild pitch moved Bergin to second, Jabari Henry's slow ground out to short scored Glasser making it 6-1. Jeff Malm made it 6-2 with an RBI single to right.

That was the last hit Medina allowed as he went 7.0 strong allowing two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out eight. He has not struck out 32 over his last four starts.

The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Tuesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (1-1, 7.00) to the mound against Canaries RHP Dylan Thompson (5-8, 5.33). The game can be heard on Alt 93.3 FM.

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