SIOUX FALLS, SD (June 27, 2014) – The St. Paul Saints can’t seem to figure out how to beat the team with the worst record in the American Association losing for the fifth time in eight games to the Sioux Falls Canaries this time 4-3 on Friday night at Sioux Falls Stadium.
The Saints had the top pitcher in the league on the mound, Anthony Claggett, and jumped out to a 1-0 lead just two batters into the game when Devin Thaut led off the game with a double and scored on Joe Bonfe’s single to make it 1-0.
Clagget, who for the third straight start put two runners on in the first and didn’t give up a run, was greeted in the second by a solo homer from Chris Valencia, his second of the season, to tie the game at one.
The Saints took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Henry Wrigley drilled a solo shot over the left field wall, his 10th of the season and second in as many games.
The lead didn’t last long, however, as the Canaries took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. Chris Duffy led off with a double to right-center. With the corners in anticipating a bunt, Carlos Mendez hit a hot smash to first that Angelo Songco made a superb diving play on. He threw to third in an attempt to get Duffy, but his throw skipped past Thaut allowing Duffy to score and tie the game while Mendez went to second. Valencia then singled Mendez to third. An RBI groundout by Stephen Branca and an RBI single from Kevin Dultz put the Canaries up 4-2.
The Saints managed to get one back in the seventh when Sam Maus singled, moved to second on a ground out and scored on Evan Bigley’s single. The Saints wouldn’t threaten the rest of the way managing just a leadoff walk in the ninth that was eventually erased on a game ending double play.
The same two teams meet Saturday night at Sioux Falls Stadium in game two of the three game series at 6:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Robert Coe (4-2, 5.36) to the mound against Canaries RHP Kyle Ruwe (2-4, 7.00).