- PAUL, MN(May 17, 2019) –The last time the St. Paul Saints began the season with a 10-game homestand was 2005. They started that season by dropping the first two games of the year. Fast forward 14 years and the 2019 version of the Saints have matched that unfortunate mark. The Saints lost 3-2 on Friday night to the Milwaukee Milkmen at CHS Field in front of 8,003 and for just the third time in franchise history have begun a season winless after two games.
It was a pitcher’s duel all night long, but for the second consecutive game the Saints couldn’t hold the Milkmen scoreless in the first inning. Nolan Earley led off the game by reaching on a fielding error from first baseman Devon Rodriguez. The next hitter, Teodoro Martinez, doubled off of Dustin Crenshaw scoring Earley giving the Milkmen a 1-0 lead.
Crenshaw put up zeroes over the next four innings, but so did his counterpart Cody Dickson. The Saints managed just two hits off Dickson over 5.2 innings, a leadoff infield single by Josh Allen in the first and a leadoff double by Blake Schmit in the third. Both innings, however, had a Saints player hit into a double play.
In the sixth Christ Conley led off with a solo homer to right off Crenshaw giving the Milkmen a 2-0 lead. Crenshaw went 6.2 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits while walking one and striking out four.
The Saints answered in the bottom of the inning without the aid of a hit. With two outs Allen walked against Dickson. Allen stole second and then scored when Chesny Young’s grounder to third was thrown over the head of first baseman Conley by Garrett Copeland cutting the Saints deficit to 2-1. Dickson went 5.2 innings allowing one unearned run while walking three and striking out five. After Max Murphy walked Dickson left the game for Zach Hartman who struck out Brady Shoemaker to end the inning.
In the seventh the Saints once again scored a run without a hit. With two outs Blake Schmit and Jeremy Martinez walked. Dan Motl was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Allen then walked forcing in Schmit to tie the game at two. Krystien Battilana came out of the bullpen and got Young to fly out to end the inning.
In the eighth the Milkmen took the lead for good as Copeland doubled off of reliever Mike Devine. Sam Dexter then worked a nine pitch at bat, fouling off five straight pitches, before lining a single into right-center that scored Copeland for the winning run.
The Saints last started 0-2 in 2005 when they dropped the first two games to the Schaumburg Flyers. The only other time in the franchise’s 27-year history they lost their first two games was in 2001 when they lost the first three.
The same two teams meet in game three of the four game series at CHS Field at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Jake Matthys (NR) to the mound against Milkmen RHP Kurt Heyer (NR). It’s Fighting Saints Night with the Hanson Brothers.