SAINT PAUL, MN (August 8, 2014)—The St. Paul Saints only managed three hits against the Sioux City Explorers in a 6-2 loss Fridaynight in front of 5,862 at Midway Stadium. The Saints didn’t record a hit or move a runner past first base after the fifth inning as the team lost its first game to the Explorers this season.
Jesse English, Alex Burnett and Rob Wort combined for the three-hitter for the Explorers. English started the game and kept the Saints from making solid contact through the first four innings with six popups and four lazy fly ball outs. He allowed two of the three hits and walked four before leaving in the fifth inning.
Alex Burnett came on in relief of English in the fifth and gave up a single to the first batter he faced before locking down the Saints through the seventh inning. Rob Wort pitched a hitless eighth and ninth with three strikeouts.
The Explorers grabbed the lead in the third and never looked back. Michael Lang hit an infield single down the third base line before Tim Colwell scored him with a hard grounder down the first base line that stayed fair and rolled to the wall. Colwell’s RBI triple made it 1-0.
Saints starter Jeff Shields gave up two more runs in the fifth. Dillon Usiak hit a grounder up the middle and Oscar Mesa sent him to third with a grounder through short. Tim Colwell drove home Usiak with his second RBI of the night to make it 2-0. Mesa scored from third on a wild pitch for a 3-0 lead.
The Saints answered with two runs in the fifth after Joe Bonfe and Joey Becker led off with walks. Dwight Childs set a Saints single-season record with his 14th sacrifice hit this season when he bunted Bonfe and Becker to second and third. Jared McDonald drove both home with a two RBI double that cut the lead to 3-2.
The Explorers answered back with two more runs in the top of the sixth. After a leadoff single by Peter Barrows and a double by Tommy Mendonca, Amos Ramon hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Barrows for a 4-2 lead. Dillon Usiak hit an RBI double to score Mendonca and make it 5-2.
Peter Barrows hit his 10th home run of the season, a solo home run in the seventh, to make it 6-2 and close the scoring.
Willie Cabrera’s hit streak ended at a career high 19 games. His previous long was 18.
Game three of the four game series is scheduled for Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. It is Peanut Free Night at Midway Stadium. The Saints send Nick Barnese (6-6, 3.73) to take on Alex Caldera (1-1, 4.15). The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in the Twin Cities Metro area. Check saintsbaseball.com for the channel in your area.