ST. PAUL, MN (September 11, 2021) - The St. Paul Saints gave their manager, Toby Gardenhire, the perfect birthday present on Saturday night at CHS Field. They attempted to match Gardenhire’s age, 39, but instead had to settle for setting the season high in runs for Triple-A East with a
ST. PAUL, MN (September 11, 2021) - The St. Paul Saints gave their manager, Toby Gardenhire, the perfect birthday present on Saturday night at CHS Field. They attempted to match Gardenhire’s age, 39, but instead had to settle for setting the season high in runs for Triple-A East with a 21-4 beat down of the Omaha Storm Chasers in front of 7,131.
The Saints pounded out a season tying high 18 hits and all nine starters collected a hit for the Saints and they scored in five of the first six innings. Five different players had a multi-hit night with Gilberto Celestino leading the way with four, and BJ Boyd and Tomás Telis with three apiece. Jimmy Kerrigan and Drew Stankiewicz each had two while Kerrigan led the way with four RBI. The Saints smashed four home runs on the evening.
The Saints jumped out on top in the first by loading the bases with nobody out. Boyd led off by being hit by a pitch. Telis and Celestino followed with infield singles to load the bases. A four pitch walk to Mark Contreras forced in a run giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.
The Saints got hot in the second inning as they sent 10 men to the plate and scored seven runs. Drew Stankiewicz led off with a single and that was followed by a two-run homer from JT Riddle, his seventh of the season, to make it 3-0 Saints. Boyd followed with an infield pop up single to third and Telis then singled to put runners at first and second. Celestino knocked home Boyd with an RBI single to make it 4-0. With one out the Saints brought more power as Kerrigan hit his first homer since August 18, a three-run blast to left, putting the Saints up 7-0. Sherman Johnson made it back-to-back homers, the seventh time this season they’ve accomplished that feat, with a solo homer to right, his fourth of the season, increasing the lead to 8-0.
With the score 8-4 in the bottom of the third the Saints continued their offensive onslaught. After Boyd reached on a fielder’s choice and Telis was hit by a pitch, they both moved up on a passed ball. A second passed ball scored both runners to increase the Saints lead to 10-4. Mark Contreras hit the Saints fourth homer of the night, a solo shot to right-center, his 15th of the season, giving the Saints an 11-4 lead.
The Saints continued pouring it on in the fourth as they sent another 10 men to the plate and scored six runs. Johnson led off with a walk and Damek Tomscha was hit by a pitch. Stankiewicz made it 12-4 with an RBI double. Riddle hit a grounder to a drawn in infield and Bobby Witt Jr. threw home, but the tag was late as Tomscha scored to make it 13-4. Boyd gave the Saints a 10-run lead with a high chopper to right for an RBI single. With one out, Celestino’s RBI single to left put the Saints up 15-4. With two outs Kerrigan made it 16-4 with an RBI double and a wild pitch scored Celestino to make it 17-4.
The Saints added four more in the sixth as they loaded the bases with nobody out. Boyd, Telis and Celestino all singled. Contreras walked to force in a run and make it 18-4. With one out an RBI fielder’s choice from Johnson gave the Saints a 19-4 lead. Tomscha became the last starter to collect a hit with a two-run double to right-center make it 21-4.
Derek Law earned the win with 3.0 shutout innings allowing one hit while walking two and striking out three.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the series on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. The Saints send LHP Bryan Sammons (1-2, 5.54) against Strom Chasers LHP Jake Kalish (2-5, 7.09). The game can be seen on 45TV and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.