WINNIPEG, MB (August 18, 2012) – The St. Paul Saints faced the best pitcher in the American Association, Matt Rusch who leads the league in ERA at 2.48. It was Saints starter Kyle Ruwe, however, who stole the show and was dominant in his third straight start as the Saints won 4-1 over the Winnipeg Goldeyes on Saturday night at Shaw Park and are now 3.0 games behind the Goldeyes for the Wild Card with 15 games to go.
Ruwe, who retired the final 16 men he faced in his last outing, once again put up another impressive streak as he retired 15 in a row from one out in the first until one out in the sixth. In the first Ruwe gave up back-to-back singles to Mike Coles and Yurendell de Caster before getting Josh Mazzola to fly out and Jon Weber to strike out.
Ruwe didn’t give up another hit until a one out infield single by Price Kendall in the sixth. Ruwe, however, got a double play off the bat of Coles to end the inning.
In the seventh Ruwe hit Mazzola, but got Weber to ground into a double play.
Luis Alen led off the eighth against Ruwe with a single, but Ruwe got Amos Ramon on a fielder’s choice ground out, Kyle Day to fly out and Jose Duran to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Ruwe was going for back-to-back complete games when he started the ninth by getting Kendall on a ground out. After hitting Coles, he gave up a single to de Caster which moved Coles to third. Mazzola’s sacrifice fly got the Goldeyes on the board and chased Ruwe from the game with the left-hand hitting Jon Weber coming to the plate. The Saints countered with left-hander Taylor Sinclair, who walked Weber. Chris Odegaard then came on and struck out Luis Alen to end the game. Ruwe went 8.2 innings allowing one run on five hits while striking out three. He has allowed just five hits in the last 52 batters he’s faced and in his last three starts Ruwe has pitched 24.2 innings allowing two runs (one earned).
The Saints offense got Ruwe all the support he would need in the first three innings. In the first Jim Rapoport led off with a triple and scored on an RBI ground out from Adam Frost to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
In the second Jose Hernandez and Ronnie Bourquin led off with back-to-back singles that put runners at the corners. Miles Durham’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0. With two outs Alex Garabedian’s RBI single made it 3-0.
In the third Joe Spiers extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single. With two outs and Spiers at second Hernandez knocked him home with a single to make it 4-0. Hernandez went 3-4 with a double, RBI and a run scored.
The same two teams meet Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in the finale of the three game series. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (10-4, 3.07) to the mound against Goldeyes LHP Todd Privett (5-5, 3.93).