WINNIPEG, MB (August 19, 2012) – The mountain has now turned into a molehill. What was once as many as a 6.5 game deficit in the wild card is now down to 2.0 as the St. Paul Saints did something they hadn’t done since 1995, sweep the Winnipeg Goldeyes north of the border finishing off the sweep with a 5-1 win on Sunday afternoon at Shaw Park.
The Saints sent their ace to the mound, Robert Coe, who pitched like a top of the rotation guy and followed suit of his teammates from the first two games of the series. Coe cruised through the first three innings, but in the fourth ran into a little trouble. Yurendell de Caster reached on a one out single, but with Josh Mazolla at the plate de Caster tried to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt. Catcher Alex Garabedian made a clean scoop of the pitch and gunned out de Caster at second. Mazzola would single as would the next hitter Jon Weber, but Luis Alen flew out to right to end the inning.
Coe finally gave up a run in the fifth when Amos Ramon led off with a double and with two outs Price Kendall knocked him home with a single. It was the only blemish on Coe’s afternoon as he went 7.2 innings allowing one run on six hits while walking two and striking out three. He earned his 11th victory of the season, tied for fifth most by a Saints pitcher in a single season. He trails four other pitchers who won 12 in a season.
The Saints never trailed in the three game series and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Sunday. Joe Spiers led off the game with a walk and Adam Frost’s bunt single put runners at first and second. Willie Cabrera’s deep fly out to center advanced the runners up to second and third. Ole Sheldon followed with a two-run single to give the Saints a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth Alex Garabedian led off with a walk and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Spiers. With two outs Cabrera knocked home Garabedian with a single to center to make it 3-1.
The Saints picked up two insurance runs in the ninth as the Goldeyes used four different pitchers in the inning. After lefty Jack Van Leur retired lefty Ronnie Bourquin for the first out, RHP Kaohi Downing hit right-hander Miles Durham. Left-handed pitcher Zach Baldwin then faced left-handed hitter Jim Rapoport who singled to right. The final move of the inning brought in right-hander Chris Bodishbaugh for the rest of the inning. Garabedian’s ground out to first moved the runners to second and third. Spiers then singled into center scoring both runs which extended his hit streak to 11 games.
The Saints starting pitchers in the series against the Goldeyes were tremendous allowing three runs in 22.1 innings pitched while the bullpen didn’t allow a run in 4.2 innings. The three runs scored by the Goldeyes was a franchise low for a three game series.
The Saints head home for a three game series against the Can-Am’s Rockland Boulders on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Kyle Hurst (0-1, 8.31) to the mound. It is the Third Annual Zombie Baseball Crawl presented by Savers.