Trouble at the Bottom, Saints Lose 6-3 to Saltdogs
ST. PAUL, MN - The bottom of the Lincoln Saltdogs order gave the St. Paul Saints trouble all game long. The bottom four in the order collected seven hits and produced four RBI as the Saints squandered an opportunity to win back-to-back home games for the first time since May 23 & 25 in a 6-3 loss at CHS Field in front of 7,650.
Both starters looked sharp through the first three innings with Saints starter Matt Solter pitching around a bases loaded one out jam in the first. In the fourth, however, Solter walked T.J. Bennett with one out. That's when the bottom of the order, starting with the six hitter Randolph Oduber, did the damage as he singled Bennett to second and Nathaniel Maggio's double knocked home Bennett to give the Saltdogs a 1-0 lead. Brandon Jacobs made it 3-0 with a two-run single to left.
In the sixth Oduber doubled with one out and Maggio's RBI single made it 4-0. Solter went 6.0 innings allowing four runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two.
The Saints answered in the bottom of the inning courtesy of the hot-hitting Burt Reynolds. Max Murphy led off with a walk and, with one out, Reynolds crushed a two-run homer to left, his second in as many games, 11th of the season and seventh in 11 games with the Saints, to cut the deficit to 4-2.
In the eighth the Saints nearly tied it when Kyle Barrett reached on a bloop double to center. Reynolds walked and the two pulled off a double steal. Brady Shoemaker then drove a ball to right, but with the win blowing strong to left, it knocked the ball down and turned into a scoring fly ball making it 4-3. With the tying run at third and two outs Justin O'Conner hit a fly ball to right-center that the center fielder Bennett made a sliding catch on to end the inning.
Saints reliever Jake Matthys was great for 2.1 innings of shutout relief and Ken Frosch added 0.1 of an inning to his scoreless streak, brining it to 21.0 consecutive. Andrew Thome, however, has some bad luck when he took over in the ninth with two outs. With the shift on to the left side, the right-handed Jacobs grounded one wide of first that Matt Snyder was able to knock down, but Jacobs reached on a single. Jacobs stole second and .192 hitting Brant Whiting dumped an RBI single into center making it 5-3 Saltdogs. Cesar Valera finished the scoring with an RBI triple down the left field line.
The Saints welcome in the Cleburne Railroaders on Monday at 7:05 p.m. for the first of a three-game series. The Saints send RHP Ryan Zimmerman (1-1, 4.44) to the mound against RHP Patrick Mincey (0-5, 5.91). It is Fighting Saints night as former players from the Fighting Saints will be in attendance, including current Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau. The Saints will wear special Fighting Saints jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game. The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities area, and heard on Alt 93.3 FM.
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