Winter Came as Saints Lay Claim to the Throne in 9-5 Victory over Milkmen
ST. PAUL, MN - In one of the coldest games in franchise history, with game time temperature sitting at 39 degrees, the St. Paul Saints managed just four hits. They took advantage of four Milwaukee Milkmen errors and seven walks in splitting the opening series with a 9-5 victory on Sunday evening in front of 6,088 at CHS Field.
The Saints didn't collect their first hit until the fourth inning, but pushed across two runs in the first courtesy of three Milkmen errors. Josh Allen led off the game by reach second on a two base throwing error by second baseman Cesar Valera. Chesny Young followed with a walk. After a passed ball moved runners up to second and third, Brady Shoemaker was walked with one out. Devon Rodriguez' ground ball to second was mishandled by Valera allowing Allen to score making it 1-0. Blake Schmit's sacrifice fly scored Young to make it 2-0.
Minnesota State University Mankato's Nick Belzer pitched in his first professional game getting the start. He tossed three scoreless innings before allowing a run in the fourth when Christ Conley led off with a walk. Manuel Boscan doubled him to third and a sacrifice fly from Valera cut the Saints lead to 2-1. Belzer went 4.0 innings allowing one run on two hits while walking three and striking out one.
The Saints collected their first hit of the game in the fourth when Rodriguez led off with a triple to left-center. Schmit's second sacrifice fly of the game scored Rodriguez to make it 3-1 Saints.
In the fifth the Saints put some distance between them and the Milkmen as Dan Motl led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. A throwing error on a pickoff attempt by pitcher Angel Venture sent Motl to third. With one out, Chesny Young's sacrifice fly gave the Saints a 4-1 lead. Max Murphy followed with a solo homer to left, his second of the season, to make it 5-1.
The Milkmen chipped away and cut the Saints lead to one. In the sixth Jose Rosario led off with a walk. With one out Boscan doubled him to third. Valera walked to load the bases and, with two outs, a fielding error by Wong at short allowed Rosario to score making it 5-2.
In the seventh, Nolan Earley led off with a walk and moved to second on a single by Teodoro Martinez. With one out the Milkmen tried to pull off a double steal, but Jeremy Martinez threw out Earley at third. That proved costly as Adam Brett Walker's infield single put runners at the corners and Boscan's third hit of the game, a single to left-center, scored Martinez to make it 5-3. An RBI double by Valera plated Walker making it 5-4.
That was as close as the Milkmen would get as in the seventh Wong led off with a walk and, with one out, Allen drilled a two-run homer to left, his first of the season, giving the Saints a 7-4 lead.
In the eighth the Saints added two more when Rodriguez walked with one out. Blake Schmit's RBI double scored Rodriguez to make it 8-4. Schmit went 1-2 with a double, three RBI and a run scored. With runners at the corners and two outs a wild pitch scored Schmit giving the Saints a 9-4 lead.
The Milkmen tacked on a run in the ninth when Rosario doubled and, with two outs, a fielding error by the second baseman Allen allowed Rosario to score.
The Saints have Monday off and are back in action on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. against the Chicago Dogs. The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (0-0, 6.35) to the mound against Dogs LHP Austin Wright (NR). It is Military Appreciation Night. 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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