@ St. Paul Saints 6/24/12
( Listen Live! )
Michael’s gem leads Pheasants to shutout win
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Sioux Falls Pheasants starter Mark Michael tossed seven scoreless innings, and reliever Dusty Gober finished off the St. Paul Saints in the Pheasants’ 8-0 victory Sunday afternoon in St. Paul.
The Pheasants (19-16) took the rubber game to clinch their third consecutive series and win the 12-game season series with St. Paul (17-17). The Birds beat their division rival seven times and will not play them again in the regular season.
Michael (4-2) won his third straight start by scattering just three singles and facing five over the minimum. He walked only one and struck out five Saints for the Pheasants’ second shutout win of the year. In his last three outings, Michael has allowed just three earned runs in 21 innings of work.
Cesar Nicolas’ RBI groundout in the top of the first gave Michael all he needed. Nicolas and Cristian Guerrero belted back-to-back doubles in the third for a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth, the Pheasants loaded the bases with one out for Cory Morales, whose single to left field knocked in a pair of runs. Nicolas followed two batters later with another two-run single for a 6-0 advantage.
Morales chipped in a run-scoring, bloop single in the ninth, and Jared Bolden added a sacrifice fly to put the game out of reach. Morales was 4-for-6 with three RBI, while Nicolas went 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Joe Anthonsen was 2-for-2, walked three times and scored two runs. Sioux Falls cracked 14 hits total and played error-free defense.
Dusty Gober allowed a single and nothing more in the final two innings of relief. The Saints managed just four hits in the game.
Saints starter and former Minnesota Twins farmhand Matt Schuld (0-1) held the Pheasants to two runs on six hits through five innings but suffered the loss.
The Pheasants pulled to 1 ½ games behind first-place Winnipeg in the North Division.
After an off day on Monday, the Pheasants open a seven-game homestand with the first of three games against the El Paso Diablos at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26. It’s a Double Play Tuesday. Tickets are 2-for-1 in the grandstand.