It’s never good when a team needs to use not one, but two position players on the mound. For the second consecutive night the St. Paul Saints were forced to use a position player making it three in their last two games. On Thursday night at CHS Field the Saints fell to the Gwinnett Stripers 11-0 in front of 8,295.

The Stripers picked up where they left off on Wednesday night. Nacho Alvarez Jr. led off with a single to center. The next hitter, Drake Baldwin doubled to right center and the fielding error by DaShawn Keirsey Jr. in center allowed Alvarez Jr. to score giving the Stripers a 1-0 lead. With a depleted bullpen and Saints starter Louie Varland already at 42 pitches in the first inning, the Saints put Varland in left and had Chris Williams pitch. He got the final out of the inning.

By rule, since Williams wasn’t leaving the game, he had to face two more batters and Sandy León led off the second with a walk and Skye Bolt singled him to third. Varland then came back on the mound and Alvarez Jr. made it 4-0 with a three-run homer to right-center.

A six-run fourth inning for the Stripers put the game out of reach as the first three hitters drew a walk to load the bases. Eli White’s RBI single to right-center increased the lead to 5-0. With one out, Alejo Lopez was hit by a pitch that forced in a run increasing the lead to 6-0. Luis Liberato cleared the bases with a double to left-center giving the Stripers a 9-0 lead. With two outs Skye Bolt singled to center driving in Liberato making it 10-0.

The second position player to take the hill was Anthony Prato. The lone run he gave up was of the unearned variety in the eighth. With a runner at first and two outs, Alvarez Jr. singled to center putting runners at first and second. Baldwin then hit a pop up to shallow left that Williams and Diego Castillo had some miscommunication on, and Castillo stuck out his arm and the ball hit his wrist and fell to the ground for an error as a run scored making it 11-0. Prato would go 2.0 innings allowing one unearned run on five hits and struck out one.

The Saints offense managed just eight singles and had one runner as far as third which came in the third after back-to-back singles by Keirsey Jr. and Yunior Severino. The Saints string of 62 consecutive games with an extra-base hit ended.

The same two teams meet in game four of a six-game series at CHS Field at 7:07 p.m. The Saints are TBA and the Stripers send LHP Dylan Dodd (2-7, 4.74) to the mound.

(info courtesy of Saints)

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