ST. PAUL, MN (July 16, 2012) – It probably doesn’t lessen the sting of the Game 5 American Association Championship loss the last time these two teams met, but the St. Paul Saints took out a little frustration on the Grand Prairie AirHogs as everyone collected a hit in a 13-7 win on Monday night in front of 3,691 at Midway Stadium as the Saints won for the third straight game.
The Saints faced one of the better pitchers in the league in Nick DeBarr, who was tied for the league lead in wins with nine and had the sixth best ERA, but that didn’t matter as DeBarr gave up a season high 12 hits in 6.0 innings. The Saints used the long ball early on as Jose Hernandez hit a solo homer in the first, his seventh of the season, to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
In the second, after Ronnie Bourquin reached on an error when DeBarr dropped the ball covering first, Miles Durham made him pay with a two-run blast to left, his second of the season, to put the Saints up 3-0. They would tack on another run when Jon Townsend doubled, moved to third on a two out infield single by Adam Frost and scored on a single by Hernandez to make it 4-0.
Saints starter Todd Mathison, who pitched that fifth and deciding game last season, was magnificent on Monday. In the first 7.0 innings that he worked he retired the side in order in five of the seven innings. The only innings he gave anything up were in the second, when Zane Chavez doubled home a run and Yasutsugu Nishimoto drove in a run with a ground out, and in the sixth on a two-run homer from Brian Myrow, his ninth of the season. Myrow extended his streak of reaching base safely to 44 consecutive games. Mathison went 7.2 innings allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits while striking out a season high six.
Bourquin and Hernandez both went 3-5 with two RBI and two runs scored while Frost, Durham, Jon Townsend and Benji Johnson all collected a pair of hits. Dustin Klabunde earned his third save in the last three games for the Saints and now has six on the season.
The same two teams meet again Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. in the second game of the three game series. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (6-3, 3.78) to the mound against AirHogs RHP Josh Strawn (6-1, 4.39). It is Octopi Minnesota Night.