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Eric Peterson, Published August 08 2013

Nelson leads St. Paul to victory against RedHawks

FARGO – The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks played a rare home clunker Thursday night at Newman Outdoor Field.

The St. Paul Saints smacked 15 hits en route to a 16-0 victory against the RedHawks in American Association baseball before a sellout crowd of 4,669 fans.

“We’re light in the bullpen,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “We had to try to skirt through, and we couldn’t skirt through.”

The RedHawks (48-29) had their five-game winning streak snapped. They also had a seven-game home winning streak ended.

F-M finished 5-1 on this homestand with two wins against the Saints and three wins against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. The RedHawks have a 7½-game lead over second-place Winnipeg in the North Division.

“A 5-1 homestand, I’m very pleased,” said Simunic, whose team has 23 games remaining in the regular season.

The Saints got a solid start from left-hander Cole Nelson, who signed prior to Wednesday’s game. Nelson pitched six scoreless innings, limiting the RedHawks to three hits. Nelson started the season with St. Paul, but was signed by the Atlanta Braves organization.

He was recently released and rejoined the Saints, who snapped a five-game losing streak.

“We haven’t had too great of results,” said Nelson, who lowered his season ERA to 2.43. “It’s good to kind of leave here with an exclamation point.”

The Saints plated four runs in the second inning to spark their offensive outburst. RedHawks starter Alex Caldera walked three consecutive batters during one point in the second. Two of those walks came with the bases loaded, scoring runs. St. Paul took a 4-0 lead after Joey Becker’s RBI fielder’s choice.

Caldera pitched six-plus innings and allowed nine runs, including eight earned. The right-hander gave up six hits and walked five. Caldera threw 109 pitches, including 59 strikes.

“Caldera hasn’t had it in a while,” Simunic said. “He’s got to try to re-find it. I thought he showed some good spurts in parts of the game, but he got himself in trouble with his breaking ball in the second inning.”

The Saints scored multiple runs in four different innings. St. Paul capped its big night with seven runs in the ninth inning. The Saints scored their final run after Brandon Tripp drew a walk with the bases loaded for a 16-0 lead.

“I wish I could have skirted through this game without this damage to my pitching,” Simunic said.

The RedHawks start a three-game series at 7:05 tonight at Kansas City. Recently acquired right-handed reliever Derrick Miramontes is set to join F-M in Kansas City.

“It will give us a chance to get another breath of fresh air,” Simunic said of adding another arm to the bullpen.

NOTES: Thursday’s crowd of 4,669 fans was the ninth sellout at Newman Outdoor Field this season. … The RedHawks have a 25-14 home record this season. … Thursday’s 16-0 win tied the largest margin of victory for St. Paul in franchise history. … RedHawks second baseman C.J. Retherford went 0-for-4 on Thursday to have his 15-game hitting streak ended.

ST. PAUL REDHAWKS

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Frost ss 5 3 2 2 Pnprse ss 4 0 0 0

Becker 3b 6 1 1 2 Borquin 3b 4 0 1 0

Boyer 2b 4 2 2 1 Jckson cf 3 0 1 0

Cabrera lf 4 2 2 3 Rthrford 2b 4 0 0 0

Blunt lf 2 1 1 2 Brchold 1b 2 0 0 0

Sheldn 1b 3 1 0 0 Alberts dh 3 0 0 0

Seaman c 2 1 0 0 Piepkrn rf 3 0 1 0

Hrnndz cf 3 2 1 1 Einrtson lf 3 0 0 0

Childs 1b-c 4 1 2 3 Jennings c 2 0 1 0

Kczrski rf 5 0 1 0

Totals 43 16 15 16 Totals 28 0 4 0

SP 040 030 207 –16 15 1

FM 000 000 000 – 0 4 2

E–Penprase (15), Bourquin (13). LOB–St. Paul 8, RedHawks 4. DP–St. Paul 4, RedHawks 1. 2B–Frost (18), Tripp (17). HR–Cabrera (12), Blunt (1).

ST. PAUL

IP H R ER BB SO

Nelson W,3-2 6 3 0 0 2 2

Henry 2 0 0 0 0 1

Thomas 1 1 0 0 0 1

REDHAWKS

IP H R ER BB SO

Caldera L,8-5 6 6 9 8 5 2

Burnside 2 2 0 0 1 2

King 1 7 7 5 2 1

Umpires–Home: Sheets. First: Morgan. Third: Durante. Time–2:40. A–4,669.


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

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