Maybe it was the early wake up call. Perhaps it was the flight from New York to Minnesota. It could have even been the 12:30 p.m. touchdown in Minneapolis. Whatever the reason the St. Paul Saints didn’t play well on Friday night and lost for the fourth straight game 14-5 to the Sioux Falls Pheasants at Midway Stadium in front of 4,884.
Each time the Saints got close to the Pheasants, the Pheasants would pull further and further away. Every Pheasant collected at least one hit as the Saints gave up a season high in runs and hits (20). It all started on a bad note in the first as the Pheasants hit two, two-run homers off the bat of Cory Morales, an inside the park home run, and Christian Guerrero, who has now homered in four straight games.
The Saints cut the deficit to 4-2 in the third when Jim Rapoport slugged a two-run homer of his own. Rapoport would finish a double shy of the cycle going 3-3 with a sac fly, three RBI and two runs scored.
The Saints lost their starting pitcher Alberto Rolon in the fourth when he left the ballgame after facing one batter. Billy Spottiswood came on in relief, but didn’t fare much better. The Pheasants made it 7-2 on a two-run double from Trevor Lawhorn and an RBI single from Joe Anthonsen. Lawhorn finished the night 4-5 with a double, two RBI and three runs scored.
The Saints cut the deficit to 7-4 in the fifth as Alex Garabedian blasted a solo homer to lead off the inning. Rapoport followed with a triple and scored on a sac fly from Willie Cabrera.
With the Saints within striking distance in the eighth, at 8-5, the Pheasants put the game away with two in the eighth and four in the ninth.
The Saints have now lost a season high four straight and are a game under .500 for the first time since they were 2-3. Jose Hernandez did extend his hitting streak to 16, tied for the ninth longest in Saints history.
The same two teams will meet again in the second game of the three game series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (3-1, 2.19) against Pheasants LHP Mitchell Clegg (1-0, 2.57). It is June-toberfest with a Craft Beer and Baseball from 4:00 – 7:30 p.m. with some of the finest brewers in the state in attendance.