Sioux City Explorers defeat St. Paul Saints 8-5
The Saints warm-up for the top of the ninth inning. (Stevie Larson/VAVEL USA)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Sioux City Explorers defeated the St. Paul Saints 8-5 on Wednesday night for the second straight game, though this one was closer than Tuesday’s game. The Explorers scored six runs in the first three innings, then cruised from there, as the Saints were unable to fully mount a comeback.

Sioux City strikes for six runs in the first three innings

The Explorers scored their first three runs in the top of the second inning, starting with Levon Washington reaching on an error by the pitcher. After Joe Bennie doubled, Dylan Kelly grounded out for the first out of the night, but Washington came around to score to make it a 1-0 game. Jonathan Gonzalez followed with a single to center field to drive in Bennie and make it a 2-0 lead. Gonzalez scored when Tony Campana reached on a fielder’s choice to extend the lead to 3-0. Saints starter Jason Creasy was able to stop the bleeding, as he got Jayce Ray to strike out to end the inning.

The Explorers picked up in the third inning right where they left off, as Brian Fortier led off with a double to center field, which was followed by Washington singling. After a RBI sacrifice fly from Bennie, and a double from Kelly, Gonzalez singled to left field to score Kelly and extend the lead to 6-0.

The Saints got their first run of the game off former Saint Kramer Sneed in the bottom of the fourth inning when Brady Shoemaker led off with a single to center field. After Anthony Gallas reached on a walk, and Tony Thomas struck out, Tim Colwell reached on an infield single, which bumped Shoemaker to third. He scored when Maxx Garrett reached on a fielder’s choice to cut it to a five-run lead.

Saints get three in the fifth

The Saints scored another three runs in the fifth, thanks to a leadoff double from Danny Oh, an infield single from Tanner Vavra, and a home run from Shoemaker that trimmed the Sioux City lead to just two runs. They were unable to tack on any other runs, as Gallas and Thomas were both retired to end the inning.

The Explorers tacked on a run in the seventh when Kelly led off with a single and came around to score on a single from Campana, and also tacked on a run in the eighth when Ray led off with a single, and eventually scored when Kelly reached on an error by third baseman Nate Hanson.

The Saints added a run in the bottom of the eighth when Thomas hit a solo home run to left-center field, and Tim Colwell followed with a double, but they were unable to add any other runs to the board, and were sent down in order in the ninth for just their 13th loss of the season, though they do preserve their lead in the North Division.

The Explorers and Saints will play the final game of the series on Thursday night when the Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (6-1, 2.93) to the mound. The Explorers will send LHP Cody Forsythe (3-1, 3.99) to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Quick Hits

- Every player in the Explorers starting lineup recorded a hit with the exception of Nate Samson, who went 0-5 on the night.

- Brady Shoemaker led the Saints, going 3-4 with a home run and two runs scored, though his efforts weren’t enough to save the Saints.

- In other North Division action, the Sioux Falls Canaries defeated the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks 2-0, while the Winnipeg Goldeyes defeated the Gary Southshore Railcats 6-4. That gives the Saints a six-game lead over the Goldeyes and Redhawks, who are tied for second place. 

Game Summary

Win – Kramer Sneed (1-1)

Loss – Jason Creasy (4-3)

Save – PJ Francescon (9)

Player of the game – Tony Campana (3-5, 2 RBI’s)

SCE 033 000 110 - 8

STP 000 130 010 – 5

Announced attendance: 6,575