St. Paul, MN (July 31, 2012) – Winning in extra innings has become all too common for the St. Paul Saints lately, but on Tuesday night, they beat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks rather quickly in front of 4,442 at Midway Stadium. In a premiere pitching matchup featuring staff aces Robert Coe and Alex Caldera, the Saints did not need much offense in a 4-0 victory.
Coe was in fine form once again, extending his scoreless streak to 17.1 innings, on a night in which he allowed only two hits. A season-high seven walks were not a problem either, and he was assisted numerous times by his defense and one RedHawks mistake on the bases.
For the second straight night, St. Paul got on the board first when Jose Hernandez took Caldera’s (8-2) first pitch of the second inning and deposited it over the left field wall, his 10th of the season to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. Caldera’s only loss this season came nearly two months prior on June 6 against Kansas City.
Despite walks in the first and second, Coe got out of both innings following 4-6-3 double plays.
In the third, the Saints offense would provide another run following a double by Joe Spiers with one out. Ole Sheldon then extended his streak of reaching base safely to 16 games with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
Coe would come out for the fourth and allow one out walks to Eric Campbell and Jon Gaston that put the tying runs on base. Ryan Delgado swung at the first pitch and popped out to second base before Coe struck out Marcos Rodriguez to keep the shutout intact.
Going into the seventh, the lead was 3-0 after Jon Townsend’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. Coe (9-3) would allow back-to-back walks to Gaston and Delgado. Rodriguez then sent a groundball to Adam Frost at short and the Saints turned what looked like a routine double play into a triple play. Frost flipped to Jon Townsend at second for the first out, who then fired the first for the second out. Gaston rounded third and first baseman Ole Sheldon fired to Benji Johnson at the plate who ran Gaston to third, threw the ball to Ronnie Bourquin who tagged out Gaston for the 6-4-3-2-5 triple play.
The Saints final run came in the seventh after Jim Rapoport’s one out double. Spiers’ groundout to second moved him to third, and with Sheldon at the plate, Caldera would throw a wild pitch allowing the run to score.
Coe finished up the eighth inning and threw 114 pitches, 64 for strikes, going 8.0 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking seven and striking out six.
Dustin Klabunde’s scoreless 9th inning gave the Saints their season-high tying seventh win in a row, as they claim the first two games of this four-game series against the league leading Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
The series continues Wednesday at 7:05 when Todd Mathison (1-1, 6.65) takes on Fargo-Moorhead’s Paul Burnside (7-4, 2.93) in the third game of this series. It’s Minnsecure Night at Midway, and the first 1,500 fans will receive a Linus Security Blanket.