SIOUX CITY, IA (July 22, 2012) – The long ball has helped and hurt the St. Paul Saints in 2012 and on Sunday evening against the Sioux City Explorers it proved to be a detriment in a 6-5 loss at Lewis and Clark Park snapping their season high seven game winning streak.
With the game tied in the bottom of the eighth Brian Bistagne reached on a bad hop single to short. He was sacrificed to second by Mike Murphy. That brought up the Explorers best hitter Brandon Newton. Saints reliever Chris Odegaard didn’t look like he would give him anything good to hit. His first pitch was a breaking ball in the dirt and the second was in the same spot, but this time Newton swung and missed. A fastball was fouled back by Newton that drew the count to 1-2, Odegaard’s next pitch, however, missed its spot and Newton didn’t miss his, hitting a two-run homer to center, his first of the season, putting the Explorers up 6-4.
The Saints would battle in the ninth off of closer Chris Bodishbaugh, the same guy they scored five runs against to come back and win on Saturday night. Benji Johnson led off with a double. With two outs Willie Cabrera collected his fourth hit of the night, a single to right scoring Johnson and cutting the deficit to a run. Ole Sheldon collected his third hit of the game with a single to right moving Cabrera to second. Jose Hernandez walked to load the bases, but Miles Durham grounded out to short ending the game.
The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Cabrera doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Sheldon.
The Explorers took a 2-1 lead in the second on a two-run homer by Brian Bistagne, his fourth of the season.
The Saints knotted the game at two, in the fourth, when Sheldon led off with a double and scored on Hernandez’ single.
The Saints took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Johnson clubbed one over the center field wall, his third of the season.
The Explorers didn’t waste any time taking the lead scoring two in the bottom of the fifth when Newton led off with a single and Wally Backman Jr. doubled him home tying the game at three. An infield single by Peter Barrows moved Backman Jr. to third and with one out Ray Serrano’s sac fly gave the Explorers a 4-3 lead.
The Saints tied the game at four in the eighth against former Saints pitcher Jon Plefka. Adam Frost led off with a double, moved to third on a single by Cabrera and scored on Sheldon’s sac fly. Cabrera finished the night 4-5 with a double, RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Sheldon went 3-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the four game series on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. at Lewis and Clark Park. The Saints send RHP Luke Anderson (1-0, 3.18) to the mound against Explorers RHP Jason Jarvis (4-6, 4.58).