ST. PAUL, MN (July 18, 2012) – St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis would admit Ole Sheldon has helped him earn more than a few wins since he joined the organization in 2009. Ole Sheldon would admit George Tsamis is one of his favorite managers he’s ever played for. On Wednesday the two of them moved closer to milestones as the Saints won for the fifth straight game 5-2 over the Grand Prairie AirHogs in front of 6,034 on Wednesday afternoon at Midway Stadium.
In his 10th season at the helm of the Saints Tsamis is already the franchises winningest manager, but with the victory on Wednesday he earned the 499th in his Saints career one shy of the monumental 500 mark. For the second straight game his club fell behind early, but as is becoming more common these days the Saints haven’t had trouble bouncing back. Trailing 2-0 going into the fourth Ronnie Bourquin led off with a double. With one out Jon Townsend tripled him home to cut the deficit to 2-1. Adam Frost followed that with an RBI double tying the game at two. With two outs Joe Spiers collected an RBI single giving the Saints a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth Sheldon made a little history when he sent the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall, his 14th of the season, 54th of his Saints career and 99th of his professional career. The 54 home runs ties him with David Kennedy (1994, 97-99) for the franchise’s all-time mark. Sheldon reached the mark in 13 fewer games than Kennedy, hitting the home run in his 262nd game with the Saints.
Pitching on just three days rest, rookie right-hander Luke Anderson, out of North Dakota State University and from Savage, MN, picked up his first professional win. The only trouble he ran into came in the second when he walked a pair and gave up a sacrifice fly to Bryan Frichter and a two-out RBI single to Yasutsugu Nishimoto. Anderson went 5.2 innings allowing two runs on four hits while walking four and striking out four.
The Saints bullpen once again did the job as Reid Mahon and Kyle Carr combined to pitch 3.1 scoreless innings allowing two hits with Carr picking up his first win of the season.
Every Saints player collected a hit with Jose Hernandez going 3-4 and Spiers and Alex Garabedian both collecting two. The win sends the Saints to .500 (28-28) for the first time since July 3 when they were 21-21. It also ties their longest winning streak of the season.
The Saints have Thursday off before heading to Lewis and Clark Park to take on the Sioux City Explorers on Friday in game one of a four game series beginning at 7:05 p.m. The Saint send RHP Anthony Claggett (3-2, 7.23) to the mound.