Just one night after giving up a season-high 20 hits, the St. Paul Saints bounced back in a big way on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Texas Airhogs 13-2 at CHS Field. Max Murphy and Burt Reynolds both led the way with three runs batted in for St. Paul, with Reynolds adding a home run in the second inning.
Texas pitcher Gan Quan had another rough start, not even finishing two innings while giving up seven earned runs on five hits and walking four batters. His counterpart was Matt Solter, who had just about as opposite a start as one can have, pitching seven innings, giving up just two runs on 10 hits and recording five strikeouts to pick up just his second win of the season.
The Saints offense wasted no time in getting on the board, scoring five runs in the first while sending 10 batters to the plate. Among the big plays was a double from Aaron Gretz that scored Dante Bichette Jr. and Matt Snyder.
They added two more runs in the second then in the third inning Murphy stepped up to the plate with two runners on and ripped a home run to left field that easily cleared the fence to extend the lead to 10-1.
The Saints added two more in the fifth and used a leadoff double from Snyder to add one more in the sixth. They did allow a second run to Texas in the seventh when Correlle Prime hit a two-out infield single and advanced to second on an error by the shortstop. He scored when Stewart Ijames doubled to right field.
The Airhogs picked up another double in the eighth, this one off the bat of Lu Zhenhong, but he failed to score as Casio Grider popped out to first base to end the inning. After the Saints failed to score in the bottom of the inning they brought in Beck Wheeler, who pitched a perfect inning to secure the win for the Saints, who now will get on a bus and make the trip up I-94 to begin a four-game series with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks this week before returning to CHS Field to host the Kansas City T-Bones next weekend.
- This was the first win for Solter since he beat the Chicago Dogs on May 21 at CHS Field. In that game he went five innings, giving up three runs on four hits with three strikeouts. His last two starts had both been no decisions.
- The American Association now has a new all-time hits leader after Reggie Abercrombie broke the record for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in their loss to the Redhawks. The previous record had been held by David Espinosa.
- The Saints remained in third place in the American Association North Division after both the Redhawks and the Gary SouthShore RailCats both won on Sunday. The Saints are just a half-game behind the Redhawks entering their series this week, while the Railcats have a one and a half game lead on the Saints.