The good news for the St. Paul Saints is they entered Wednesday afternoon’s game with a four game winning streak. The bad news is despite the wins their offense hadn’t produced and was 12th in the league in average and runs scored. They broke out in a big way against the Fargo-Moorehead RedHawks and helped out one of their newest teammates, starter T.J. Wink, as they pounded out a season high 15 hits in a 10-6 win at Midway Stadium in front of 4,174.
Entering the bottom of the first the Saints trailed 2-0, but it took just three hitters for them to take the lead. Jim Rapoport led off with a single, Shane Costa walked and Willie Cabrera drilled a three-run homer to left, his second of the season, giving the Saints a 3-2 lead.
The Saints would score at least one run in the next four innings. In the second Adam Frost unloaded on a solo homer to left, his first of the season, giving the Saints a 4-2 lead.
They built on that in the third by scoring three runs. They loaded the bases on a walk to Costa, a single by Cabrera and an infield single by Ole Sheldon. With one out Jose Hernandez walked to force in a run and Ronnie Bourquin added a two-run single to make it 7-2.
Two infield singles plated runs for the Saints, one in the fourth by Tanner Townsend and one in the fifth by Costa giving the Saints a 9-2 lead. Costa finished the game 3-3 with an RBI and three runs scored.
That was all one of the newest Saints pitchers needed, T.J. Wink. After struggling in the first inning he settled down and was masterful going 6.1 innings allowing three runs on four hits while walking two and striking out two and picking up the win in his Saints debut.
With the Saints comfortably in front in the eighth Sheldon did something that hadn’t been done since 2006. He homered for the third consecutive game, a solo shot to left, his seventh of the season. The last Saints player to homer in three straight games was Derrick White from August 18-20, 2006. Sheldon became just the 14th different player to accomplish the feat (Brian Buchanan is the only player to do it twice). The home run was the 47th in Sheldon’s Saints career leaving him eight shy of breaking David Kennedy’s franchise record and he now has 195 career RBI leaving him 18 shy of breaking Brent Krause’s franchise record.
The Saints will take Thursday off and then take their five game winning streak on the road to Sioux Falls Stadium to take on the Sioux Falls Pheasants on Friday night beginning at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (3-1, 2.59) to the mound.