ST. PAUL, MN (August 20, 2012) – The St. Paul Saints pitching staff hasn’t given an inch in the month of August and continued their dominance as they allowed just one run for the fourth consecutive game. In the first ever match-up between the Saints and Rockland Boulders the Saints won their fourth straight game 3-1 on Monday night at Midway Stadium in front of 4,818 cutting the Winnipeg Goldeyes lead, who had the day off, in the Wild Card to 1.5 games with 13 to go.
It was Kyle Hurst who provided the great starting pitching for the Saints on Monday. He allowed four runners to reach second base in his six innings of work, but never had a man reach third. His only clean inning came in the first when he retired the side in order. In the second he walked the leadoff batter Gabby Martinez and with two outs intentionally walked Jonathan Smith. Hurst retired Billy Alvino on a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
In the fourth Martinez led off by being hit by a pitch and with one out Ryan Mollica singled him to second. Hurst got Smith on strikes and Alvino to fly out to center to end the inning.
In the sixth Mollica doubled with two outs, but Hurst once again got Smith to fly out to end the inning. Hurst went 6.0 shutout innings allowing four hits while walking one and striking out three. The Saints starting pitching over the last four games have gone 27.1 innings and allowed just three runs.
The Saints jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Jim Rapoport led off with a walk. With one out Willie Cabrera’s infield single to third moved Rapoport to second. A wild pitch moved the runners up and Ole Sheldon’s sac fly put the Saints on the board.
The game stayed that way until the seventh when the Boulders finally got on the board. With Saints reliever Chris Odegaard on the mound Qualon Millender singled with one out. On a hit and run Chris Valencia singled through the open hole at shortstop sending Millender to third. Cole Kraft’s sacrifice fly tied the game at one.
The Saints wasted little time taking back the lead in the bottom of the inning as Rapoport led off with a single. Adam Frost sacrificed him to second and Cabrera followed with a walk. Ole Sheldon’s RBI double to left made it 2-1 Saints.
The Saints tacked on an insurance run in the eighth as Joe Spiers led off by reaching on a throwing error by third baseman Martinez. Spiers stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Frost, with two outs, beat out an infield single to short scoring Spiers and giving the Saints a two-run lead.
The same two teams meet in game two of the three game series on Tuesday night at Midway Stadium at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Luke Anderson (4-2, 3.40) to the mound against Boulders LHP Gustavo Chacin (3-3, 4.56). It is Auction Night at Midway Stadium.