@ St. Paul Saints 6/23/12
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Pheasants outdueled by Saints
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Sioux Falls Pheasants came up on the short end of a pitcher’s duel on Saturday night, suffering a 4-2 loss to the St. Paul Saints.
The three-game series, the last of the year between the division rivals, is even at one game apiece.
The Pheasants (18-16) spotted starter Peter Gehle (2-3) a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on Cesar Nicolas’ two-run single. Gehle responded with six shutout innings on just two hits before an unearned Saints run scored in the seventh. Gehle made his third consecutive start against the Saints (17-16) and retired 11 batters in a row in the third through sixth innings.
With a runner on and one out in the bottom of the eighth, Adam Frost sent a high, arcing fly ball just beyond the left field fence for a two-run home run and a 3-2 lead. Gehle exited, and Willie Cabrera followed with a solo home run off Pheasants reliever Tom Heithoff.
Saints starter Alberto Rolon held the Pheasants in check after the two-run first inning, allowing just three more hits. The Pheasants had an opportunity in the seventh with two runners in scoring position and no outs but could not bring anybody home. Rolon threw 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Gehle turned in his second consecutive quality start and third of the season overall. He allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Nicolas’ single extended a season-high hitting streak to 15 games, matching a career best. Jared Bolden snapped an 11-game streak, and Jake Taylor had two hits, the only multi-hit performance of the night.
Saints reliever Dustin Klabunde (1-1) earned the victory, pitching the final 1 1/3 innings.
The rubber game of the three-game series is at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, at Midway Stadium. The game will be broadcast on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 1230-AM and www.kwsn.com.
Notes: Eight of 11 games between Sioux Falls and St. Paul have been decided by two runs or less.