ST. PAUL, MN (June 8, 2021) - The fans came for Byron Buxton, but they got a whole lot more. Buxton didn’t disappoint, but St. Paul Saints starter Charlie Barnes was remarkable once again and Daniel Descalso hit his first home run of the season as the Saints took down
ST. PAUL, MN (June 8, 2021) - The fans came for Byron Buxton, but they got a whole lot more. Buxton didn’t disappoint, but St. Paul Saints starter Charlie Barnes was remarkable once again and Daniel Descalso hit his first home run of the season as the Saints took down the top team in their division, the Omaha Storm Chasers, 4-1 on Tuesday night at CHS Field in front of 5,043.
Barnes, who had not allowed a run in his last 10.0 innings and was coming off a 6.0 inning shutout performance, was spectacular once again. He retired seven of the first eight hitters he faced before the only blemish on the night. With two outs in the third, Barnes hit Kyle Isbel. Emmanuel Rivera followed with an RBI double to right-center giving the Storm Chasers a 1-0 lead.
Barnes would allow just two more hits in his 6.0 innings of work and got out of a mini jam in the sixth when he gave up a leadoff double to Ryan O’Hearn. Barnes would retire the next three hitters on a foul out and two fly outs. Barnes went 6.0 innings allowing one run on three hits while walking two and striking out seven.
Buxton got the crowd out of their seats in the bottom of the sixth with one out when he tripled off the right-center field wall. With two outs, Brent Rooker and Mark Contreras walked to load the bases, but Sherman Johnson struck out to end the inning.
The Saints tied the game up in the seventh when Descalso hit a solo homer to right, his first of the season.
The Saints took the lead in the eight when Buxton started the inning with a ground ball single away from the shift and into right field. With one out, Rooker walked and Buxton was lifted for pinch runner Jimmy Kerrigan. The Storm Chasers went to their bullpen for left-hander Gabe Speier to face back-to-back lefties in Contreras and Johnson. Contreras singled to load the bases and Johnson followed with a two-run single to right-center giving the Saints a 3-1 lead. Drew Maggi then drilled a line drive back to Speir who went behind his back, the ball went into his glove, the glove flew off his hand straight up into the air where the ball came out of the glove at the apex, fell to the ground and Speier grabbed it on the one hop and threw out Maggi as Contreras scored to make it 4-1.
The Saints bullpen was magnificent as Ian Hamilton and Danny Coulombe pitched 3.0 hitless, shutout innings of relief while striking out six.
The same two teams meet in the second game of the six-game series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send Major League rehabber, RHP Kenta Maeda (NR) against Storm Chasers RHP Eddie Butler (2-0, 1.35). The game can be seen on the Saints Cable Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.