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Eric Peterson, Published August 07 2013

Stanton leads RedHawks past St. Paul

FARGO – Familiarity didn’t faze Taylor Stanton on Wednesday night.

Making his third consecutive start against St. Paul, the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks starter was still able to baffle the Saints. Stanton pitched eight scoreless innings to lead the RedHawks to a 2-0 American Association baseball victory before 4,092 fans at Newman Outdoor Field.

“It’s tough,” Stanton said of seeing the Saints lineup so often. “I couldn’t use my slider as much as I did last time. They know and I know that is my best pitch.”

The RedHawks (48-28) have won five consecutive games, including two in a row against the Saints. North Division-leading F-M has an 8½-game lead over second-place Winnipeg. The RedHawks have 24 games remaining on their regular-season schedule.

“We’re trying to keep going, and these other people seem to be stumbling,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “We’re just trying to keep the heat on the other teams.”

Stanton has earned the victory in his last two outings against the Saints. Prior to that, the right-hander earned a no decision against St. Paul, but the RedHawks rallied to win that game.

Stanton has pitched 21 innings over those past three starts against St. Paul, allowing four earned runs during that span.

“He can hit a lot of spots,” Simunic said of Stanton. “His fastball has a little bit of electricity when he needs to get it. He knows how to finish guys.”

Stanton started the ninth inning Wednesday, but was lifted from the game after allowing a leadoff double to Saints third baseman Joey Becker. Stanton scattered six hits, struck out eight and walked none. He threw 117 pitches, including 77 strikes.

“I had fastball command,” said Stanton, who lowered his season ERA to 2.31. “If you get ahead of guys, that always helps.”

The RedHawks generated all of their offense with one swing. Third baseman Ronnie Bourquin cracked two-run home run in the third inning. That came after Zach Penprase drew a two-out walk, which sparked the game’s lone scoring rally.

The RedHawks used relievers Joe Harris and Nathan Kilcrease to close out the game. Harris, a lefty, retired the only batter he faced on a ground out. Kilcrease, a righty, struck out a batter and then induced a fly out to end the game, stranding Boyer at third base. Kilcrease earned his first save this season.

Simunic said Harris, Kilcrease and newly acquired right-hander Derrick Miramontes will be called on to close games for the rest of the season.

“We will be a little more by committee,” Simunic said. “Those three guys will be in the mix when we’re winning.”

The RedHawks acquired Miramontes prior to Wednesday’s game from Grand Prairie in exchange for right-handed reliever Chase Johnson. Johnson was the F-M closer earlier this season. Johnson led the RedHawks with 13 saves.

NOTES: Right-hander Alex Caldera (8-4, 3.70 ERA) is slated to pitch today for the RedHawks. … F-M second baseman C.J. Retherford extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a double in the third inning. … The RedHawks have a 25-13 record at Newman this season. F-M has a 23-15 record on the road.

ST. PAUL REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Frost ss 4 0 0 0 Pnprse ss 3 1 0 0

Becker 3b 4 0 2 0 Borquin 3b 4 1 1 2

Boyer 2b 4 0 0 0 Jckson cf 2 0 0 0

Sheldn 1b 4 0 1 0 Rthrfrd 2b 4 0 2 0

Tripp dh 3 0 0 0 Brchold 1b 3 0 1 0

Blunt ph 1 0 0 0 Alberts dh 3 0 1 0

Hrnndz cf 3 0 1 0 Piepkrn rf 3 0 0 0

Childs c 3 0 1 0 Sosnskie lf 3 0 3 0

Kczrwski lf 3 0 1 0 Jnnings c 3 0 0 0

Hrgrove rf 3 0 0 0

Totals 32 0 6 0 Totals 28 2 8 2

SP 000 000 000 –0 6 0

FM 002 000 00x –2 8 0

LOB–St. Paul 5, RedHawks 5. DP–St. Paul 2, RedHawks 1. 2B–Becker (15), Retherford (18). 3B–Brachold (1). HR–Bourqin (11). CS–Jennings (2).

ST. PAUL

IP H R ER BB SO

Claggett L,7-4 8 8 2 2 3 4

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Stanton W,7-3 8 6 0 0 0 8

Harris Zc 0 0 0 0 0

Kilcrease S,1 Xc 0 0 0 0 1

Umpires–Home: Durante. First: Sheets. Third: Morgan. Time–2:23. A–4,092.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com