ST. PAUL, MN (July 27, 2021) - Perhaps the only way to overshadow a pitcher who throws 7.0 shutout innings and allows two hits is for a hitter to blast two home runs and have a career five RBI. Or maybe it’s vice versa. Either way the St. Paul Saints
ST. PAUL, MN (July 27, 2021) - Perhaps the only way to overshadow a pitcher who throws 7.0 shutout innings and allows two hits is for a hitter to blast two home runs and have a career five RBI. Or maybe it’s vice versa. Either way the St. Paul Saints got a superb pitching performance from Chandler Shepherd and a career night from Jimmy Kerrigan as they scored 13 runs in the first two innings en route to a 16-1 victory over the Indianapolis Indians on Tuesday night at CHS Field in front of 6,239.
The Saints exploded for eight runs in the first inning as Jose Miranda started the game with a double to left-center against knuckleballer Steven Wright. Rob Refsnyder then drilled a two-run homer to left, his fourth with the Saints, making it 2-0. Tomás Telis and Mark Contreras drew back-to-back walks and Drew Maggi made it 3-0 with an RBI double to right-center. Wright then left the game with an injury as Joe Jacques took over. Jacques recorded the first out of the inning on a fly out by Ben Rortvedt before Damek Tomscha made it 5-0 with a two-run single to right-center. JT Riddle followed with an RBI single and then Jimmy Kerrigan unloaded on a three-run homer to left, his first of the night and 11th of the season, to finish off the scoring in the first inning and putting the Saints up 8-0.
The Saints didn’t let up in the second as Contreras was hit by a pitch with one out. Maggi collected his second double of the night putting runners at second and third. Rortvedt made it 10-0 with a two-run double down the right field line. With two outs, Riddle’s RBI single put the Saints up 11-0. Kerrigan came calling again with his second home run of the night and 12th of the season, a two-run shot to left, giving the Saints a 13-0 lead. Kerrigan finished the night 3-4 with two home runs and a career high five RBI. By the end of the second inning all nine Saints players had scored a run in the game.
Meanwhile Shepherd, who was starting because Beau Burrows was recalled to the Minnesota Twins, was magnificent. He didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings and only allowed a one out walk in the first during that span.
He gave up his first hit to start the fifth, a single to right by Bligh Madris, but Shepherd got a ground ball double play from the next hitter, Hunter Owen. That was followed by a double from T.J. Rivera, but the inning ended on a groundout. Shepherd retired the final seven batters he faced going 7.0 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking one and striking out four.
With the Saints leading 13-1 in the eighth, they plated three runs off Taylor Davis, a catcher who was forced into action. An RBI double by Contreras, an RBI groundout by Maggi, and an RBI single by Rortvedt.
Along with Kerrigan’s three-hit night, Miranda was 3-5 with a double and two runs scored. Eight of the nine Saints hitters collected a hit, while seven different hitters had an RBI.
The same two teams meet in game two of the six-game series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. The Saints send LHP Charlie Barnes (5-3, 4.02) to the mound against Indians RHP Beau Sulser (5-3, 3.29). The game can be seen on Bally Sports North Plus and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.