Mark Hamburger set one record, helped the team tie another and will have to wait for another game to add his name to a third. Hamburger became the first Saints pitcher to go 10-0, the St. Paul Saints tied a franchise record by winning their ninth straight home game at CHS Field, but Hamburger fell one inning shy of tying the franchise record for complete games in a season and career as the Saints beat up on the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 10-4 on Friday night in front of 9,524. The win was a season tying high sixth straight and they improved to 39-16, maintained a 9.5 game lead in the division on the Winnipeg Goldeyes and hold the best record in the league.
While Hamburger was a major story the Saints offense did some serious damage against rookie Will Solomon. With the game tied at one in the third Tanner Vavra singled to center. With the shift on for the left-handed Angelo Songco, he hit a grounder to the shortstop on the right side of the infield, but Bryan Johns couldn’t beat Vavra to the second base bag and the Saints had runners at first and second with nobody out. Alonzo Harris drew a walk to load the bases. The Saints took a 3-1 lead when Tony Thomas singled to left driving home two. With one out and runners at the corners Willie Argo lofted a fly ball to shallow right. K.D. Kang caught it and threw it toward home and Thomas took off for second. The first baseman Dustin Geiger caught the relay throw and fired to second, but Thomas slid in safely. As the throw was going to second, Harris broke for home and beat the throw to the plate giving the Saints a 4-1 lead. The next batter, Tony Caldwell, blasted a two-run homer to left, his seventh of the season, to make it 6-1.
In the sixth the two teams traded two-run home runs. In the top of the inning Kang singled to lead off the inning and, with one out, Keury De La Cruz hit a change up over the right field wall, his seventh of the season, to make it 6-3.
In the bottom of the inning, however, Angelo Songco hit a two-run homer of his own, his 11th of the season, to give the Saints an 8-3 lead.
In the seventh Nate Hanson led off with a walk and Willie Argo drilled a two-run homer to left, his sixth of the season, to make it 10-3.
In the eighth Hamburger gave up a one out homer to Kang, his ninth of the season, and faced four more batters in the inning striking out two, but after 120 pitches he would not come out for the ninth. Hamburger went 8.0 innings allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out a season high eight. Hamburger is now 10-0 with a 2.75 ERA. He surpassed the 9-0 record of Jeff Shields from last season.
The nine consecutive home wins ties a franchise record accomplished three other times: July 17-30, 1994 and 1995 and July 26-August 19, 2015.
The Saints will attempt to break the franchise record for consecutive home wins on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. in game two of the three game series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. The Saints will send RHP Dan Johnson (0-1, 9.00) to the mound against RedHawks RHP Cody Scarpetta (2-0, 3.96).