The St. Paul Saints offense has come to life in the last week, but on Friday night at Sioux Falls Stadium they just couldn’t cash in enough on their 14 hits and had their season high five game winning streak snapped in a 7-5 loss to the Sioux Falls Pheasants.
The Saints offense clicked from the beginning as the first three hitters of the game all reached on hits with Jim Rapoport, Shane Costa and Willie Cabrera singled, the latter driving in a run. A throwing error by second baseman Joe Anthonsen on a potential double play ball scored Costa to give the Saints a 2-0 lead. Costa finished the night 3-5 with a run scored.
That lead wouldn’t last long as Saints starter Robert Coe, who has been spectacular this season, struggled on Friday night. In the second Jake Taylor tripled off the top of the wall in left and then scored on a single by Al Quintana cutting the lead to 2-1.
The Pheasants took the lead for good in the third when Trevor Lawhorn reached on an infield single and with one out Cesar Nicolas hit a two-run homer, his fourth of the season, making it 3-2. Cristian Guerrero then walked, stole second, went to third on a throwing error by catcher Benji Johnson and scored on a wild pitch to give the Pheasants a 4-2 lead.
The Saints made it 4-3 in the fourth when Adam Frost singled to center, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a two out single by Cabrera.
Each time the Saints got close the Pheasants would stretch their lead and they did so in the bottom of the fourth. Quintana led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Anthonsen. Cory Morales doubled home Quintana to make it 5-3 and two batters later, with Morales at third, Jared Bolden’s safety squeeze scored Morales to make it 6-3.
The Saints had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the fifth as they loaded the bases. With one out Jose Hernandez walked and Ronnie Bourquin singled. With two outs Frost reached on an error by third baseman Jake Taylor to loaded the bases. Rapoport followed with a two-run single to make it 6-5, but Frost was thrown out trying to advance to third and the Saints would get no closer. Hernandez finished the night 3-3 with a run scored.
The same two teams meet in the second game of the three game series Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Chris Odegaard (1-3, 3.64). The Pheasants are TBA.