WINNIPEG, MB (July 4, 2013) – It was not a festive Fourth of July for the St. Paul Saints north of the border as they grounded into four double plays and lost to the Winnipeg Goldeyes 7-5 on Thursday night at Shaw Park.
The Saints staked rookie right-hander Dylan Thomas to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The first five Saints reached base as Adam Frost reached on an infield single, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Frost would finish the night 3-5. Then three straight walks to Joey Becker, Brad Boyer and Willie Cabrera brought home a run to make it 1-0. Brandon Tripp’s two-run single put the Saints up three before the Goldeyes came to the plate.
In the bottom of the first, however, the Goldeyes took advantage of some shaky Saints defense. With two outs Ray Sadler reached on an infield single when he hit a grounder to Boyer at third, but his throw to first pulled Ole Sheldon off the bag. Casey Haerther doubled to left and Willie Cabrera bobbled the ball in the outfield, which prevented any chance to get Sadler who scored to make it 3-1. Josh Mazzola then hit a two hopper to Boyer’s left, but the ball went under his glove for an RBI single to make it 3-2.
The Goldeyes tied it at three in the third when Mike Coles walked, stole second and scored on Sadler’s RBI single.
The Goldeyes took advantage of the inexperienced Thomas in the fourth as Fehlandt Lentini walked and moved to third on a double from Ryan Scoma. Luis Alen’s RBI groundout made it 4-3 and Nick Liles RBI single made it 5-3.
In the fifth Haerther led off with a single and Thomas would depart the game after retiring the next hitter. Mike Koons took over and loaded the bases with a walk to Lentini and a single to Scoma, who finished the night 3-4 with two doubles. Alen knocked home two with a single to make it 7-3. Thomas went 4.1 innings allowing six runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out two.
The Saints made it a closer ballgame in the sixth when Sheldon led off with a double. He moved to third on Hernandez’ infield single which hit off the glove of a diving Haerther at first. Dwight Childs made it 7-4 with an RBI single. Dan Kaczrowski grounded into the Saints third double play of the night, which scored a run, but gave the Saints two out with nobody on. Frost would double and Goldeyes starter Mark Hardy would depart the game. Kaohi Downing retired Becker to end the inning and the Saints would wind up with just one more runner the rest of the way, which would be erased on a double play.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the four game series on Friday night at Shaw Park at 7:00 p.m.. The Saints are TBA while the Goldeyes send RHP Justin Garcia (4-1, 3.32) to the mound.