ST. PAUL, MN (July 23, 2014) – At times on Wednesday afternoon the St. Paul Saints looked like a team that played more than four hours of baseball the night before. They were able to overcome a season tying high four errors and scored a late run to win their sixth straight game 4-3 over the Sioux Falls Canaries at Midway Stadium in front of 6,162.
With both bullpens thin because of the 13 inning contest on Tuesday Saints starter Anthony Claggett and Canaries starter Ben Moore knew they needed to go deep. Both left before the seventh was over, but for different reasons.
The Canaries jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third as the Saints defense committed three errors on three consecutive plays. With one out Ty Forney reached on an error by shortstop Jared McDonald, whose throw to first was in the dirt and Angelo Songco was unable to scoop it. The very next hitter, Steve Tinoco, hit a grounder to the right of McDonald and as he went to field it and throw to second the ball popped out of his glove for his second error. Brandon Jones followed with a single to center and Forney was going to be held at third until center fielder Evan Bigley misplayed the ball allowing Forney to score.
The Saints answered in the bottom of the inning when Dwight Childs led off with a single to left-center. Devin Thaut, who extended his hitting streak to 14 in the first inning, doubled home Childs to tie the game at one. Sam Maus reached on a bunt single, which extended his streak of reaching base safely in consecutive games to 25. Willie Cabrera gave the Saints a 2-1 lead with an RBI single and two batters later Songco made it 3-1 with an RBI single.
The game stayed that way until the sixth when the Canaries loaded the bases with nobody out. Chris Valencia and Stephen Branca started the inning with back-to-back singles. Kevin Dultz hit a comebacker to Claggett, but his throw to second was in the dirt and second baseman Maus couldn’t pick it and the error allowed Branca to reach second safely. Claggett would get the next two hitters, but then fell behind Brandon Jones 3-0. After getting the count to 3-2 Jones sent one back up the middle which scored two runs and tied the game at three. Claggett threw 121 pitches and departed after 6.0 innings allowing three unearned runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out six.
Moore would leave the game in the seventh with an injury and the Canaries turned to the only pitcher who didn’t throw on Tuesday, Chase Boruff. The Saints were able to get to him in the eighth as Maus drew a leadoff walk. Willie Cabrera singled him to second and Maus moved to third on a fly out by Henry Wrigley. With the shift on and the shortstop Branca playing up the middle Songco slapped a single through the vacated hole to score Maus and give the Saints a one run lead.
Dan Sattler tossed a perfect ninth to pick up his 15th save of the season. The Saints have won their last seven one run ballgames.
It’s the 10th time the Saints have won six straight games in franchise history and they have also won seven straight home games, tied for the sixth longest in franchise history. The last time they won seven straight home games was June 16-July 7 of last season.
The same two teams meet tomorrow night in the finale of the four game series at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Ben Hughes (3-0, 5.06) to the mound against Canaries LHP Matt Wickswat (2-4, 5.23). We welcome back former emcee Rusty Kath presented by University of Minnesota-Morris.