SIOUX FALLS, SD (August 11, 2020) – It was a happy homecoming of sorts for the St. Paul Saints as they returned to the place they called home for the first month of the season, Sioux Falls Stadium. The Saints scored seven runs in the first three innings and hung on late to win 8-6 over the Sioux Falls Canaries on Tuesday night. The win puts the Saints at .500, 17-17, for the first time since July 18 when they were 7-7.
The Saints feasted on Canaries starter Kurt Heyer and it started in the first. With one out, Alonzo Harris doubled to left and Nate Samson knocked him home with a single to left-center making it 1-0. Samson stole second and, with two outs, scored on a single by Josh Allen putting the Saints up 2-0.
In the second they tacked on three more as John Silviano led off with a walk and Max Murphy doubled him to third. Drew Stankiewicz walked to load the bases. Mikey Reynolds made it 4-0 with a two-run single to right-center. Harris added a run with an RBI groundout.
In the third the Saints knocked out Heyer with two more runs. With one out Silviano reached on a throwing error by second baseman Grant Kay. With two outs Stankiewicz doubled him to third. Reynolds came through again with a two-run single making it 7-0. Reynolds finished the night 3-6 with a career tying high four RBI.
The Canaries, who entered play with the league’s top offense, broke through in the bottom of the third against Saints starter Ryan Zimmerman. Mike Hart led off the inning with a walk and Andrew Ely doubled him home cutting the Saints lead to 7-1. Roy Morales then walked putting runners at first and second. With one out Damek Tomscha loaded the bases with a single to right. Logan Landon made it 7-2 with an RBI single and Kay followed with a two-run single to make it 7-4. Zimmerman settled down and got the next two hitters and retired the final 11 men he faced. He went 6.0 innings allowing four runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three.
In the seventh, the Saints added an insurance run when they loaded the bases on a leadoff walk to Silviano, a two out single by Reynolds, followed by a walk to Harris. Samson then followed with a walk to force in Silviano making it 8-4.
The Canaries once again came back in the bottom of the inning when Ely walked with one out. Morales singled him to second and Alay Lago’s infield single to third loaded the bases. A wild pitch scored Ely making it 8-5 and Tomscha’s single to left made it a two-run game. Brian Glowicki struck out the next two hitters to end the inning.
In the ninth, closer Jameson McGrane came on and struck out Lago and Tomscha to start the inning. He walked the next three to load the bases, but struck out Clint Coulter to end the game and pick up his league leading 11th save.
The same two teams meet on Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. at Sioux Falls Stadium in game two of the three-game series. The Saints send RHP Eddie Medina (1-5, 7.34) against Canaries RHP Tyler Herron (3-1, 6.46).