ST. PAUL, MN (July 9, 2012) – Miles Durham joined the St. Paul Saints five days ago and in his first four games he was 0-15. He broke out of that slump and with a great spot start by Anthony Claggett the Saints defeated the Sioux City Explorers 3-1 on Monday night at Midway Stadium in front of 3,702.
With the Saints looking for their first hit of the night in the bottom of the third Durham led off with a hustle double into left-center field. The next batter, Jon Townsend, lined a single into right field. As Durham rounded third, third base coach Lamarr Rogers put up the stop sign, but Durham ran through the sign and slid into home safely to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
That lead held up until the fifth when Claggett gave up his only run. The former Major Leaguer with the Yankees and Pirates had made 11 appearances with the Saints, 10 out of the bullpen. His first appearance with the Saints, on June 6, was a start in which he gave up six runs in 3.1 innings. On Monday he was locked in and cruised through the first four. In the fifth, however, Ryan Priddy doubled with two outs. Brandon Newton’s grounder to second was mishandled by Jon Townsend allowing Priddy to score on the double. Claggett went 5.0 innings allowing one unearned run on four hits while walking two and striking out four.
The Saints didn’t waste any time taking the lead as they struck in the sixth. With one out Willie Cabrera singled. Ole Sheldon then lined one over the head of right fielder Mike Bisenius for a double which scored Cabrera and gave the Saints a 2-1 lead. It was Sheldon’s 208th RBI in his Saints career, five shy of surpassing Brent Krause’s (2007-11) record of 212. The hit also extended Sheldon’s hitting streak to 10 games. With one out Tanner Townsend walked and Durham struck again. He lined a single into left scoring Sheldon to give the Saints a 3-1 lead. Durham went 2-3 with a double, RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.
The Saints, who had blown two straight games and three of their last five when leading after seven innings, made sure it didn’t happen again. The bullpen was tremendous. Reid Mahon went 2.0 shutout innings allowing one hit while striking out two. Kyle Carr pitched a scoreless eighth and Dustin Klabunde earned his third save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth.
Jim Rapoport for the Saints went 0-3, but did walk extending his consecutive games reaching base safely to 29.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the four game series on Tuesday evening at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Todd Mathison (0-1, 9.33) to the mound against Explorers LHP Richard Salazar (4-6, 4.11). It is Larry Doby Passion for the Community Night.