St. Paul, MN — The St. Paul Saints bullpen has struggled early on this season and it continued on Saturday night at Midway Stadium in a 7-4 loss to the El Paso Diablos in front of 4,649.
The Saints bullpen entered play with a 6.59 ERA and turned a 4-1 lead over to their relievers in the sixth inning. George Jensen took over for Cole Nelson, who allowed one run in 5.0 innings of work, but the Diablos quickly turned the deficit into a lead of their own. Mitch Einertson led off with a walk and Brian Joynt doubled him to third. Jonathan Cisneros doubled them both home to cut the Saints lead to 4-3. Cisneros finished the game 3-5 with two doubles and four RBI. Cisneros moved to third on a wild pitch and Moises Montero walked. A sacrifice fly by Roberto Ramirez tied the game at four. Edgar Corcino then deposited one over the right field wall, his first of the season, to give the Diablos a 6-4 lead. Jensen went 1.0 inning allowing five runs on three hits, while walking three.
The Diablos, who entered play with the highest ERA in the league at 7.10, got great pitching from their bullpen. From the fifth inning on the Saints didn’t get more than one base runner on in any inning and had just one runner reach as far as second, a one out double by Adam Frost in the eighth. The Diablos bullpen tossed 5.0 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking one and striking out two.
The Saints jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first off of former Major Leaguer Carlos Monasterios. Joey Becker and Brad Boyer each singled with one out. Craig Brazell drove home Becker to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. Willie Cabrera’s RBI fielder’s choice made it 2-0. It was the seventh consecutive game Boyer has scored a run, a career high.
With the Saints leading 2-1 in the fourth Cabrera doubled and Brandon Tripp followed with a two-run blast to right, his second of the season extending his hitting streak to nine, giving the Saints a 4-1 lead.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Mark Hamburger (0-1, 6.97) to the mound against Diablos RHP David Casillas (1-1, 9.00). There is a post-game Monster Food Truck Rally and following that a fireworks SuperShow. The game can be heard on Club 1220 AM and in the ballpark on 87.9 FM.