ST. PAUL, MN (August 24, 2012) – And they are all tied with 10 games to go. It took 12 innings for someone to score a run, but the St. Paul Saints finally did on Ronnie Bourquin’s sacrifice fly for the 1-0 win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes at Midway Stadium in front of 6,058 on Friday night and are now all tied for the Wild Card with the Goldeyes.
The win was the Saints seventh straight victory, tying a season high which they have accomplished twice, and in those seven wins they have allowed just seven total runs. The Saints have also played 12 extra inning games this season, all at home and are now 7-5 in those games while the 1-0 finish was the 20th in franchise history, their eighth victory.
In the bottom of the 12th inning Willie Cabrera led off with a single. He moved to second on a single by Ole Sheldon. Jose Hernandez’ sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third which brought up Bourquin. He swung and missed at the first pitch and then took three pitches out of the zone. On a 3-1 pitch Goldeyes reliever Chris Bodishbaugh threw a high fastball that Bourquin swung and missed. Bourquin didn’t miss on the next pitch sending a deep fly to right which was caught by Josh Mazzola, but the fly ball was deep enough to score Cabrera for the game winner.
Both teams had chances in extra innings. The Goldeyes loaded the bases in the 10th when Barbaro Canizares led off with a single. Mazzola sacrificed him to second and Luis Alen was intentionally walked. Mike Coles followed with a walk to load the bases. Saints reliever Nick Carr, however, got Amos Ramon to hit a high chopper to short which Adam Frost fielded, stepped on second and fired to first for the inning ending double play.
The Saints loaded the bases in both the 10th and 11th. In the 10th Joe Spiers reached on a one out single. He stole second and advanced to third on an infield single by Adam Frost. With the outfield playing shallow Cabrera hit a fly ball to shallow right that Mazzola charged, but fielded on a short hop. Spiers had to hold not knowing whether Mazzola would catch the ball or not. With the bases loaded and one out Sheldon popped out to first and Jose Hernandez struck out to end the inning.
In the 11th Miles Durham and Jim Rapoport walked with one out. With two outs Spiers walked to load the bases, but Jake Krause popped out to end the inning.
Both starters were magnificent with the Goldeyes lefty Todd Privett going 6.1 shutout innings allowing six hits while walking one and striking out one. Three times he had runners at third with two outs, but made the pitches to get out of the jam.
On the other end Saints starter Kyle Ruwe continued to be his dominant self. He tossed 9.0 shutout innings allowing four hits while striking out two. He has allowed just 12 base runners (nine hits and three hit batters) in the last 86 batters he has faced and just two runs (one earned) in his last 33.2 innings pitched. He allowed only one runner to reach second which came in the fourth. Chris Roberson led off with a single and stole second. He was erased, however, when Yurendell de Caster hit a grounder to the second base bag that was fielded by second baseman Spiers who tagged out Roberson. Canizares followed by lining into a double play to end the inning.
By virtue of their win on Friday the Saints have won the season series against the Goldeyes meaning if the two teams finish tied for the Wild Card the Saints would get because of their head-to-head record. The Saints are currently 6-2 against the Goldeyes with three games left. In their last four wins against Winnipeg the Saints have allowed just three runs.
The same two teams meet Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. in game two of the four game series. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (11-4, 2.95) against Goldeyes RHP Ace Walker (10-4, 3.37). It is 20 Years of Letterman with a Letterman Jacket Auction.