Devine making a case for Pitcher of the Year

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  1. PAUL, MN(September 6, 2020) –For the second time in five days St. Paul Saints starter Mike Devine took a run at the franchise single-game strikeout record. While he fell one strikeout shy again, he made his final case as the best pitcher in the American Association. Devine fanned 13 Winnipeg Goldeyes, who were the home team at CHS Field, in a dominating performance as the Saints won 7-3 in front of a sellout crowd of 1,500. Despite the win, the Saints are eliminated from playoff contention by virtue of the Sioux Falls Canaries victory over the Chicago Dogs.

With Post-Season All-Star ballots due Monday at noon, Devine had one final outing to pad his resume and he didn’t disappoint. He struck out at least one batter in each full inning he pitched, but the second. He retired the side in order in the first and fanned the last two batters he faced.

In the second, Devine got Logan Hill to groundout, walked Jordan George, the only hitter not to strikeout on the night, and got John Nester to ground into a double play.

Devine then went on a run of five consecutive hitters with a strikeout and six consecutive outs from the third through the fourth. The only hitter to reach over those two innings was a two out single by Kyle Martin in the fourth, the first hit of the game.

In the fifth and sixth, Devine fanned two in each inning. He was finally touched upon in the seventh as he began to run out of gas. Martin led off with a single to left-center and Devine fanned his 13th and final batter, Hill. George was hit by a pitch and Nester singled home Martin to make it 7-1. After a fly out to left, Jonathan Moroney dunked a single into right scoring George to make it 7-2. Devine got Kevin LaChance to line out to short to end the inning.

Devine went out for the eighth to face one batter, Breland Almadova, who hit a broken bat ground out to second. Devine went 7.1 innings allowing two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out 13. He threw 110 pitches, 75 for strikes. He finished one strikeout shy of Roy Smith’s franchise record of 14 set on June 12, 1999 at Fargo-Moorhead. The 26 strikeouts in back-to-back starts is the most in franchise history.

The offense meanwhile got out to a hot start and it began in the first when Mikey Reynolds led off the game with a double to right and scored on a Chuck Taylor single making it 1-0.

In the second, Chesny Young singled and John Silviano followed with a two-run home run that traveled 412 feet to dead center, his 12th of the season, putting the Saints up 3-0.

In the third Taylor crushed a 439-foot home run to left-center, his second of the season, giving the Saints a 4-0 lead.

The Saints got their third home run of the night in the fifth when Max Murphy doubled, Alonzo Harris walked and Chris Chinea socked a three-run home run to right, his fourth of the season, putting the Saints up 7-0.

The Saints struck out 15 Goldeyes, tied for the most this season. They also struck out 15 in Devine’s last start on September 1.

The Saints have Monday off and return to action for their final three games of the season on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Both teams are TBA.

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KDUZ/KARP/KGLB Sports Director, Play by Play Announcer, On Air Personality, and Community Calendar editor

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