QUEBEC, QC (June 3, 2014) – As the wins mount during the longest roadtrip of the season the St. Paul Saints gain more and more confidence. Taking on a team that was 80 games over .500 at home since 2010, the Saints won again on Tuesday night 6-4 at Stade de Municipal taking the first two games of a four game series. The loss sent the Quebec Capitales to below .500 at home for the first time since they were 0-1 in 2011. The Saints are now 5-3 on their 10-game roadtrip and have won four straight.
While the offense piled up the runs early it was starting pitcher Jeff Shields who came into a familiar venue and was masterful for 7.2 innings. Shields, who last season pitched for the Trois Rivieres Aigles in the Can-Am League and faved les Capitales five times, got 16 ground ball out of the 23 he recorded, nine to second baseman Devin Thaut, one to first baseman Dwight Childs and six to shortstop Joey Becker. He retired the first nine men he faced and had the bases loaded with two outs in the fourth, but actually got a fly ball out to end the inning.
In the fifth with the Saints up 6-0 he gave up a double to Samuel Domingue, who moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.
Working into the eighth Shields retired the first two hitters of the inning before giving up a double to Jonathan Malo and an RBI single to Balbino Fuenmayor. Shields left the game for reliever Dylan Thomas with the Saints up 6-2. Thomas didn’t fare as well giving up a double to Asif Shah that put runners at second and third. Rene Leveret made it 6-3 with an RBI single and Jean-Luc Blaquiere cut the lead to two with an RBI double. Thomas got out of the jam with a ground out off the bat of Domingue. Shields went 7.2 innings allowing three runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out three.
Dan Sattler, who got the win and tossed 2.0 innings of relief in the extra inning win on Monday, pitched a solid ninth. With one out he walked Mike Provencher, but got Matt Helms to pop out and Malo to ground out to end the game as Sattler earned his fifth save of the season.
The Saints offense got it all started in the first when Joey Becker led off the game with a solo homer to right, his first of the season, to make it 1-0.
In the third the Saints got back-to-back doubles from Evan Bigley and Henry Wrigley to make it 2-0.
The big inning was the fourth as the Saints sent nine men to the plate and scored four runs. Everything happened with two outs as Dwight Childs and Becker walked. Joe Bonfe singled home a run to make it 3-0. After a walk to Bigley loaded the bases, Wrigley made it 4-0 with an RBI single. He finished the night 3-5 with a double and two RBI. Brandon Tripp followed with a two-run single to make it 6-0. Tripp extended his hitting streak to a Saints season tying high eight games. That chased les Capitales starter Ari Ronick who went 3.2 innings allowing six runs on 10 hits while walking three and striking out four.
The Saints offense couldn’t do much against knuckleball reliever Zach Staniewicz who tossed 5.2 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking two, but he set a Can-Am League record by hitting five Saints.
The same two teams meet Wednesday night at 6:05 p.m. central in game three of a four game series. The Saints send RHP Anthony Claggett (2-0, 1.27) against les Capitales RHP Karl Gelinas (2-0, 1.42).