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Saints Find Offensive Groove, Pound Red Wings 15-9

April 23, 2024

ST. PAUL, MN (April 23, 2024) - The St. Paul Saints faced one of the top pitching prospects in the Washington Nationals system, the number six ranked Jackson Rutledge. They tagged him for the most earned runs in his career with nine as the Saints went on to defeat the

ST. PAUL, MN (April 23, 2024) - The St. Paul Saints faced one of the top pitching prospects in the Washington Nationals system, the number six ranked Jackson Rutledge. They tagged him for the most earned runs in his career with nine as the Saints went on to defeat the Rochester Red Wings 15-9 on Tuesday night in front of 3,038 at CHS Field. The win improves the Saints record to 9-12 on the season.

The Saints scored in six of the eight innings, eight of nine hitters collected a hit, seven of nine scored a run including Will Holland who scored a career-high four runs, and seven of nine collected an RBI.

DaShawn Keirsey Jr. got things going for the Saints in the bottom of the first when he tripled to the right-center gap. Jair Camargo brought him home with a groundout and the Saints took a 1-0 lead.

Nine men came to the plate in a four-run second for the Saints and it started with a Yunior Severino single off the wall in center. With two outs Holland walked and Diego Castillo followed with an RBI single to right giving the Saints a 2-0 lead, as Holland took third. After a stolen base by Castillo, Anthony Prato walked loading the bases. Keirsey Jr. ripped a two-run single into right, increasing the lead to 4-0. Camargo tacked on another run with a broken bat single to right, making it 5-0.

The onslaught continued in the third as the Saints utilized walks, and a long ball to score four runs. Severino and Tony Kemp led off the inning with a walk. Yoyner Fajardo followed with a three-run homer to right, his fourth of the season, giving the Saints an 8-0 lead. Holland then walked, stole second and then Castillo walked. After a double play put Holland at third, Keirsey Jr. lined an RBI double into left-center putting the Saints up 9-0. Keirsey Jr. finished a home run shy of the cycle going 3-6 with three RBI and a run scored.

Burnsville, Minnesota native Alex Call put the Red Wings on the board in the fourth with a solo homer to right, his sixth of the season, making it 9-1. It was the lone mistake Saints starter David Festa made as he went 3.1 innings allowing one run on four hits while walking one and striking out five.

Jhoan Duran made his first appearance on Major League rehab in the fifth. He was greeted with back-to-back singles from Darren Baker and James Wood putting runners at the corners. Duran came back and fanned Juan Yepez. Travis Blankenhorn blooped an RBI single off the glove of a charging Keirsey Jr. in center cutting the Saints lead to 9-2. After getting Call on strikes, Carter Kieboom doubled to right-center knocking in a run getting the Red Wings to within 9-3. Duran finished his night by getting Jack Dunn looking to end the inning. Duran threw 27 pitches, 15 for strikes. His fastball averaged 98.1 miles per hour and topped out at 99 miles per hour on his six fastballs. He had a 50% whiff rate on 10 swings.

The Saints built back up their nine-run lead with a three-run bottom of the fifth. Holland led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. Castillo followed with a single to center moving Holland to third. Prato then lined a ball off the pitcher Robert Gsellman that wound up in shallow right field as Holland scored giving the Saints a 10-3 lead. With two outs Matt Wallner lined a two-run double into the right field corner increasing the lead to 12-3.

For the fifth time in the first six innings the Saints scored as they put up two in the sixth. Kemp led off with a walk and with one out Holland tripled him home giving the Saints a 10-run lead at 13-3. Holland finished the night a perfect 2-2 with a double triple, two walks, a hit by pitch, RBI, and a career-high four runs. The next hitter, Castillo, hit a sacrifice fly scoring Holland making it 14-3.

The Red Wings made it a game in the seventh as they plated six runs to get within five. Yepez led off with a walk and took third on a double from Blankenhorn. Call then walked to load the bases. With one out Jack Dunn walked forcing in a run to make it 14-4. Back-to-back RBI singles from Brady Lindsly and Jackson Cluff cut the Saints lead to 14-6. Darren Baker followed by reaching on a throwing error from the third baseman Castillo that scored a run making it 14-7. After a walk to Wood loaded the bases, Yepez’ two-run single to left get the Red Wings to within 14-9.

The scoring was capped off in the eighth when Fajardo singled with one out, took third on a double from Holland, and scored on Castillo’s sacrifice fly. Castillo finished the night 2-2 with two sacrifice flies, a walk, three RBI, and two runs scored.

The same two teams meet in game two of a six-game series on Wednesday night at 6:37 p.m. at CHS Field. The Saints send RHP Joe Gunkel (0-2, 6.39) to the mound against Red Wings RHP Spenser Watkins (1-0, 5.40). The game can be seen on the Saints Broadcast Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, MLB.TV, MiLB.TV, the Bally Live app, or heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.