ST. PAUL, MN (August 3, 2022) - He’s played just 91 professional games, not one of them above Low-A. In his first ever Triple-A at bat Mikey Perez did the unthinkable. He hit a pinch hit, three-run home run with two outs in the ninth that helped the St. Paul
_ST. PAUL, MN _*(August 3, 2022) - *He’s played just 91 professional games, not one of them above Low-A. In his first ever Triple-A at bat Mikey Perez did the unthinkable. He hit a pinch hit, three-run home run with two outs in the ninth that helped the St. Paul Saints to a 9-7 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers on Wednesday night at Werner Park. The win is the Saints fourth in a row and sends them to 49-50 on the season.
Down 7-4 in the ninth and facing Andres Núñez, who had allowed just one run in his last 22 appearances, the Saints stormed back. Matt Wallner led off with a single to right-center. Roy Morales singled to right putting runners at first and second. John Andreoli made it 7-5 with an RBI single to right-center that put runners at the corners. With two outs, Andreoli swiped second putting both runners in scoring position. An RBI infield single by Braden Bishop made it 7-6. That brought up the number nine spot in the order, David Bañuelos’. Manager Toby Gardenhire elected to pinch hit and utilize Perez for his first Triple-A at bat. On a 1-2 pitch, Perez clubbed a three-run homer to left, his first of the season, giving the Saints a 9-7 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, Michael Feliz locked down the win with a scoreless ninth, capping off an incredible night for the bullpen of 6.1 scoreless innings.
It was another Mike that got the Saints on the board. Michael Helman continued to make Werner Park his own personal playground. He led off the game with a solo homer to left, his ninth of the season and third in his last four at bats, putting the Saints up 1-0. It was the sixth consecutive hit for Helman after going 5-5 on Tuesday. Jermaine Palacios doubled and Wallner knocked him home with a single through the vacated shortstop area increasing the lead to 2-0.
The Storm Chasers knotted it at two in the bottom of the inning. Drew Waters led off the bottom of the inning with a solo homer to left, his 10th of the season, bringing the Storm Chasers to within 2-1. With one out, Iván Castillo doubled to right and came around to score on a two-out single to right-center by Clay Dugan making it 2-2.
The Storm Chasers tacked on three more in the second as Angelo Castellano started the inning with an infield single to short. Gabriel Cancel blooped a single to center putting runners at first and second. Jimmy Govern gave the Storm Chasers a 3-2 lead with a double down the third base line. An RBI single by Waters and an RBI fielder’s choice by Brewer Hicklen upped the lead to 5-2.
The runs kept coming for the Storm Chasers in the third. Clay Dungan led off the inning with a solo homer to right, his eighth of the season, making it 6-2. Freddy Fermin followed with a double and Angelo Castellano walked. With two outs, Waters doubled home Fermin giving the Storm Chasers a 7-2 lead.
Curtis Terry got a run back for the Saints in the fourth with a solo homer to right, his 10th of the season, making it 7-3.
The Saints crept a little closer in the fifth when Palacios doubled down the first base line with one out. Palacios went 3-4 with a franchise record tying three doubles, and two runs scored. He was balked to third and scored when Wallner reached on a fielding error by the first baseman Gabriel Cancel getting the Saints to within 7-4.
Daniel Gossett tossed 2.1 shutout innings of relief allowing one hit and striking out two while Austin Schulfer tossed 2.0 scoreless innings and struck out three. Brad Peacock, facing his old team, pitched 1.0 scoreless inning.
The same two teams meet in game three of a six-game series on Thursday night at Werner Park at 7:05 p.m. The Saint send RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-4, 10.38) to the mound against Storm Chasers RHP Jackson Kowar (3-6, 6.34). The game can be seen on MiLB.TV and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.