ST. PAUL, MN (July 24, 2014) – The St. Paul Saints have a storied history with division titles, championships and players getting their contracts purchased and reaching the Major Leagues. On Thursday night, however, the 2014 version of the Saints accomplished something that the 1993-2013 clubs could never do: sweep a homestand of at least seven games. The Saints took down the Sioux Falls Canaries 4-2 at Midway Stadium in front of 6,339 and in the process won all seven games on the homestand. Including the previous six game homestand the Saints have won eight straight at home, one shy of tying the franchise record, and have won 12 of their last 13 games at Midway.
The Saints jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning without hitting the ball out of the infield. Devin Thaut led off with a walk. Sam Maus reached on a bunt single extending his streak of reaching base safely to 26 consecutive games. Willie Cabrera walked to load the bases. With one out Angelo Songco walked to force in a run and give the Saints a 1-0 lead. Evan Bigley followed with a base hit that glanced off of third baseman Carlos Mendez’ glove and ricocheted off the body of shortstop Stephen Branca which plated two runs.
The Canaries fought back in the top of the fourth scoring two unearned runs. With two outs and a man at first Kevin Dultz reached on a fielding error by Thaut at third. Steve Tinoco’s ground rule double scored a run to make it 3-1 and Ben Hughes unleashed a wild pitch that scored Dultz to make it 3-2. Hughes was solid in his spot start going 6.0 innings allowing two unearned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three while improving to 4-0.
The Saints extended the lead in the bottom of the inning when Maus walked and scored on Cabrera’s RBI double.
After that it was the Saints bullpen that did the rest with Drew Gay hurling 2.0 scoreless innings and Dan Sattler slamming the door in the ninth for his 16th save of the season.
Along with the home winning streak, one other streak continued as Thaut dropped a single to left in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to 15, the longest by a Saint this season. Also, Dwight Childs laid down a sacrifice bunt in the second, his 13th of the season, tying a single-season franchise record set by Ryan Priddy in 2008.
The Saints have won seven games overall, tied for the fourth longest in franchise history and now trail the North Division leading Winnipeg Goldeyes by 2.0 games. They trailed by 9.5 on July 7. They have a 3.0 game lead in the Wild Card on the Laredo Lemurs.
The Saints head out on the road for a three game series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Friday evening at 7:02 p.m.
at Newman Outdoor Field. The Saints send RHP Nick Barnese (4-5, 3.53) to the mound against LHP Jake Laber (6-6, 4.56).