St. Paul, Minn. – A five run St. Paul fifth inning, and 11 Dogs runners left on base conspired to doom Chicago Monday, as the Dogs lost to the Saints 6-4 to fall to 1-3 on the year.
In a game eerily similar to Friday’s opener, the Dogs jumped out to an immediate lead on the strength of an RBI single from Craig Maddox in the top of the first inning. That 1-0 lead would hold until the aforementioned bottom of the fifth, when the Saints sent nine men to the plate, and scored five times on five hits.
The Dogs held a 3-1 lead going into the fifth inning of Friday’s game against the Canaries before allowing seven runs on six hits. Dogs pitching has now allowed 12 fifth inning runs through their first four games. In no other inning have the Dogs allowed more than two runs.
Chicago attempted to bounce back immediately Monday, loading the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth inning against Saints starter, Matt Sloter. Sloter was then lifted from the game in favor of righty, Beck Wheeler, who induced a double play off the bat of his first batter faced, Matt Dean. The double play, which did score a run to cut the St. Paul lead to 5-2, was the first of the season hit into by the Dogs. Chicago would score once more in the fifth, but would never close the deficit below two runs.
The final Dogs rally came in the top of the ninth, when Kyle Gaedele doubled to lead off the frame against Saints closer, Tom Wilhelmsen. With the Dogs down two runs, they spent the rest of the inning with the potential tying run in the batter’s box, but failed to advance Gaedele.
Chicago finished the game with 11 men stranded on base and were 2-9 with runners in scoring position. Furthering the narrative of parallels, Chicago left 12 men on base in Friday’s opener and went 4-20 with runners in scoring position.
Dogs starter, Connor Root faced the minimum 12 batters through his first four innings, needing only 28 pitches to do so. However, the fifth inning ultimately proved to be Root’s undoing, as his final line registered five earned runs.
Dogs outfielder, Jonathan Moroney left Monday’s game in the first inning after fouling a pitch off his knee. He was replaced in the outfield by Michael Baca, who was in turn, replaced at shortstop by Matt Telesco.
The two teams will do battle again on Tuesday, with lefty Tommy Thorpe making a spot start for the Dogs and Vinny Nittoli getting the nod for the Saints. First pitch from CHS Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
The game will be broadcast on www.thechicagodogs.com/broadcasts with a pregame show beginning at 6:45 p.m.