SAINT PAUL, MN (August 9, 2014)—The St. Paul Saints dropped a second straight game to the Sioux City Explorers 10-1Saturday night in front of 6,152 at Midway Stadium. The game was close until the final three innings, when the Explorers broke the game open by scoring nine runs.
With the score tied at one in the seventh, Explorers left fielder Oscar Mesa led off with a double off Saints reliever Ben Hughes. Tim Colwell sacrificed him to third, and Rene Tosoni walked. Andres Perez sent Mesa home with an RBI single for the 2-1 lead. Hughes was able to get Peter Barrows to line out to third before giving way to lefty reliever Matt Meyer. Meyer promptly gave up an RBI single to Tommy Mendonca that scored Tosoni to make it 3-1.
In the eighth, Explorers catcher Dillon Usiak was hit in the elbow by Meyer and advanced to second by Michael Lang. Usiak would later score on an RBI double by Tim Colwell that made it 4-1.
In the ninth, Saints reliever Dylan Thomas gave up a leadoff single to Explorers second baseman Andres Perez. Thomas then walked designated hitter Peter Barrows. Explorers shortstop Tommy Mendonca laid down a bunt on the third base side that no one fielded to load the bases with no outs. Perez went home to make it 5-1 when Amos Ramon walked with the bases loaded. Dillon Usiak cleared the bases with a three-run double that made it 8-1. He scored on an RBI double by Michael Lang for a 9-1 lead. Lang would score two batters later on a Tim Colwell groundout to make it 10-1.
The Saints would score first in the fourth inning. Angelo Songco and Jake Taylor led off with a pair of singles. Keith Brachold walked to load the bases with no one out. Joe Bonfe grounded into a fielder’s choice to send home Songco for a 1-0 lead for the Saints. After Joey Becker walked to load the bases again, Devin Thaut flew out, and Evan Bigley struck out.
The Explorers answered in the fifth when Rene Tosoni hit a one out triple to right field. Tosoni tied the game at one by scoring on a wild pitch that got away from Saints catcher Jake Taylor.
ST. PAUL, MN (August 10, 2014) – The St. Paul Saints pitching staff retired the final 16 batters they faced. It was the first four innings, however, that the pitching staff had trouble recording outs as they lost 9-7 to the Sioux City Explorers on Sunday afternoon at Midway Stadium in front of 5,930.
The Saints started Drew Gay, who was 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA as a starter, but he gave up more earned runs in the first inning than he had in his other four starts combined. With one out Tim Colwell singled. With two outs Gay walked back-to-back hitters to load the bases. Tommy Mendonca doubled home a pair to give the Explorers a 2-0 lead. Amos Ramon added an RBI single to make it 3-0 and Dillon Usiak’s double plated a pair to give the Explorers a 5-0 lead.
The Saints offense, which had just eight hits over the last two games, came alive in the third to tie the game up. Dwight Childs led off with a double and moved to third on a single by Devin Thaut. Jared McDonald’s sacrifice fly put the Saints on the board to make it 5-1. A walk to Willie Cabrera put runners at first and second. Henry Wrigley made it 5-2 with an RBI single. Angelo Songco walked to load the bases. Evan Bigley made it 5-3 with a sacrifice fly. Keith Brachold and Joey Becker followed with RBI singles to tie the game at five. Becker finished the afternoon 3-5 with an RBI.
The Explorers weren’t fazed by the five run outburst by the Saints as they reclaimed the lead in the fourth. Michael Lang led off with a single. He moved to third on a single by Oscar Mesa and scored on a sacrifice fly from Colwell to give the Explorers a 6-5 lead. After Mesa was caught stealing for the second out of the inning Rene Tosoni walked. Andres Perez reached on a fielding error by Thaut at third which brought up Peter Barrows. He crushed a three-run homer to left, his 11th of the season, to give the Explorers a 9-5 lead. Gay went 4.0 innings allowing nine runs (six earned) on nine hits while walking three.
The Saints inched closer in the bottom of the fourth when Thaut led off with a double. With one out Cabrera singled him to third. A sacrifice fly by Wrigley and an RBI double from Songco pulled the Saints within two.
The Saints would put runners at first and second with two outs in the seventh and eighth, but were unable to come up with the big hit.
Mackenzie King restored order for the Saints as he pitched 3.0 perfect innings of relief while striking out two and Mikey Mehlich pitched 2.0 perfect innings and struck out two.
The Saints take Monday off and head to Shaw Park to take on the Winnipeg Goldeyes in a three game series beginningTuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. The Saints send RHP Anthony Claggett (5-4, 2.66) to the mound.