Coming off of a series against the top pitching team in the league the St. Paul Saints welcomed the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to town. Unfortunately, they boast the third best ERA in the American Association and the Saints didn’t have much luck against left-hander Tyler Alexander in a 6-2 loss in front of 7,729 at CHS Field on Thursday night. The loss dropped the Saints to 37-32, 3.0 games behind the North Division leading Winnipeg Goldeyes.
The Saints managed just six hits and didn’t collect more than one hit in any inning. Alexander appeared to get stronger as the game went along including striking out four straight with the last out of the sixth and the side in the seventh.
The Saints got their first run off Alexander in the third when Tim Colwell singled and Breland Almadova walked. The two pulled off a double steal on a strikeout of JJ Gould. Nate Hanson, who extended his hitting streak to a career high 14 with a first inning double, scored Colwell on a groundout.
In the seventh Gould reached second on a two base throwing error by third baseman Josh Mazzola. That was the last batter Alexander would face as he was replaced by Richie Tate. Two batters later Anthony Gallas doubled home Hanson. Alexander went 7.0+ innings allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while walking two and striking out 10. It was his sixth game of nine or more strikeouts this season.
Saints starter Ryan Zimmerman wasn’t helped out by Mother Nature in the second. Mazzola led off the inning with a single to right. With the wind howling out to right Trever Adams hit a fly ball to right that carried out for a two-run homer, his sixth with the RedHawks and 14th of the season, to make it 2-0 RedHawks.
In the third the RedHawks tacked on three more. Devan Ahart reached on a one out infield single to short. Keury De La Cruz moved Ahart to second with a single to right. Chris Grayson’s slow roller to third was barehanded by Hanson, but his throw to first was dropped by Mitch Delfino loading the bases following the error on the first baseman. Mazzola made it 4-0 with a two-run double to left and a sacrifice fly from Adams made it 5-0.
The final run for the RedHawks came in the fifth when Ahart tripled to right-center and scored on a sacrifice fly from De La Cruz that made it 6-1. Zimmerman went 5.1 innings allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits while walking four and striking out two.
Connor Little pitched magnificently out of the bullpen for the Saints going 3.2 scoreless innings allowing one hit while walking one and striking out three.
The same two teams meet on Friday night in game two of the four game series at CHS Field at 7:05 p.m. The Saints are TBA while the RedHawks send RHP Tyler Herron (6-2, 2.90) to the mound.
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