Saints Homers Sink Birds In Series Opener
PHOTO: RY TUPPER PHOTOGRAPHY
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Five St. Paul Saints home runs, including two from Dante Bichette, Jr., were too much for the Sioux Falls Canaries on Monday night. The Birds dropped the series opener 9-5 at Sioux Falls Stadium.
The Saints' home run total is the most Canaries pitching has allowed in one game all season.
The scoring started in the second, when Bichette hit his first home run of the night off Birds starter Miles Nordgren. The two-run blast gave the Saints an early 2-0 lead.
Nordgren allowed two more homers in the third, starting with a three-run longball from Brady Shoemaker. It was his 12th round-tripper of the season, and fourth against the Canaries.
Two batters later, Bichette knocked a solo shot out of the yard to make it 6-0 Saints. It was his ninth blast of the year.
Saints starter Eddie Medina allowed only two baserunners in the first three innings, but the Birds broke through in the fourth. A groundout from Jabari Henry scored Mitch Glasser to make it 6-1.
The next batter, Jeff Malm, knocked in David Bergin with an RBI single to cut the deficit to four. Bergin had reached on a dropped third strike earlier in the inning.
Nordgren left the game after six innings. He allowed six runs on five hits, walking two and striking out six. The six K's tied his season high.
Will LaMarche relieved Nordgren in the seventh, and ran into trouble early. The first batter he faced, Justin O'Conner, roped a line-drive homer to left to make it 7-2.
Two batters later, Max Murphy followed O'Conner up with a solo shot of his own, giving St. Paul an 8-2 lead.
Medina threw seven innings of two-run ball for St. Paul. He allowed five hits and two walks while striking out eight.
The Birds got one back in the eighth when Patrick Fiala scored Jabari Henry on a fielders' choice.
A sacrifice fly from Nathaniel Maggio to score Shoemaker made it 9-3 Saints headed into the ninth.
David Bergin knocked a two-run triple to right to give the Birds their last runs of the game. It was Bergin's first triple since August of 2017, when he played for Winnipeg.
Jabari Henry struck out to end the game.
Game two of the series between St. Paul and Sioux Falls is set for Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Dylan Thompson will start for Sioux Falls; Ryan Zimmerman will get the nod for the Saints. Birds fans can bring a non-perishable food item to the game to receive two-for-one tickets.