WINNIPEG, MB (July 3, 2013) – The walk-off losses on the road are becoming tougher and tougher to swallow for the St. Paul Saints. On Wednesdaynight at Shaw Park the Saints watched the Winnipeg Goldeyes score two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lose 3-2.
Both teams ran through their bullpen on Tuesday night, so both starters needed to go deep into the ballgame and did just that. The Saints got a superb outing by Anthony Claggett while the Goldeyes countered with a strong performance from Pete Gehle. The Saints were able to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Joey Becker doubled to left-center. He moved to third on a fly out by Brad Boyer. After Willie Cabrera walked Brandon Tripp hit a slow roller to second. Cabrera put on the brakes forcing Amos Ramon to chase after him, which allowed Tripp to race down the line. By the time Cabrera was tagged out the throw to first was too late and Becker scored to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
It stayed that way until the seventh when Jose Hernandez drove a pitch over the left-center field wall, a solo shot, his second of the season, to make it 2-0. Gehle went 7.2 innings allowing two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out three.
Claggett utilized the double play to his advantage. In the first five innings he allowed the leadoff man to reach four times, but in the third, fourth and fifth inning he was able to erase that leadoff man with a double play.
Claggett’s luck ran out in the seventh when Josh Mazzola led off with a double, With two outs and Mazzola at third Luis Alen roped a double off the wall in left to score Mazzola and make it 2-1. Claggett would go a season high 8.0 innings allowing one run on five hits while walking two and striking out three.
In the bottom of the ninth the Saints brought on closer Matt Meyer. He got ahead of the leadoff hitter Casey Haerther 1-2, but Haerther blooped a single down the right field line. Mazzola walked to put runners at first and second. Fehlandt Lentini stepped to the plate and showed bunt, but took the first pitch for a strike. He then swung away on the next pitch knocking home pinch runner Jordan Guida to tie the game at two. Then controversy ensued when Ryan Scoma laid down a bunt just in front of the plate. Catcher Dwight Childs picked up the ball and threw to third where shortstop Adam Frost was covering. The third base umpire ruled Frost came up off the bag and called Mazzola safe. Saints manager George Tsamis stormed out of the dugout to argue and was thrown out. The next hitter Luis Alen then singled to right-center on a 3-2 pitch for the game winning hit.
The same two teams meet in the third game of the four game series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at Shaw Park. The Saints are TBA while the Goldeyes send LHP Mark Hardy (4-2, 2.81).