ST. PAUL, MN (September 1, 2013) – There were records aplenty being matched or broken in front of a large crowd of 6,138 at Midway Stadium on Sunday Night. Unfortunately for the St. Paul Saints the fact that they lost their eighth consecutive home game, matching the highest such total set in August of 2007, was the most noteworthy as they fell to the Sioux City Explorers by a score of 2-1.
The night began on a good note in the second inning when Adam Frost reached base via a walk from Explorers starting pitcher Cody Hall. Frost then proceeded to steal second and third base on consecutive pitches to break the single-season franchise record for stolen bases. The previous record was held by Noah Hall who swiped 37 in 2001. With the two stolen bases Frost stands at 38 with one game to play. Donald Blunt followed by driving him home with a single up the middle and the Saints led 1-0. Blunt finished the night 2-3 with the RBI.
That lead held until the sixth inning because Saints hurler Anthony Claggett, who matched a franchise record held by teammate Mark Hamburger for most starts in a season by beginning his 21st game, was perfect through 5.0 innings. Sam Judah changed that with a single through the right side to start the sixth. Alberto Espinosa followed by laying down a sacrifice bunt which was fielded by catcher Jeremy Mayo. Mayo threw wide of Dan Kaczrowski, who was covering first, allowing Espinosa to reach safely. Judah was attempting to take third on the play when Kaczrowski unleashed a high throw that sailed over third basemen Joey Becker’s head and into the Saints bullpen before it was corralled. After the dust settled the score was tied at one and the Explorers had a runner on third with nobody out. Claggett retired the next three in order to escape the jam with the score tied.
The tie score held all the way until the final inning when Anthony Kaskadden, who had just one home run to his credit this season, turned on a fastball from Claggett and lifted it just over the left field wall for a solo home run to grab the lead at 2-1.
The Saints went quietly in the ninth to seal the deal on their eighth straight home loss.
Claggett went the distance allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits while striking out three. He retired the side in order in seven of the nine innings he pitched. The complete game was his third of the season. It was the ninth of the season for Saints pitching which ties the record set back in 1997. Unfortunately in those games the Saints hold just a 3-6 record.
The Saints put the finishing touches on the season when they take on Sioux City at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday. LHP Cole Nelson (5-3, 3.67) will match up with the Explorers RHP Preston Olson (1-6, 6.60). It is a Labor Day Celebration at Midway Stadium.