COLUMBUS, OH (June 19, 2022) - On Wednesday, June 9 Sarah Gardenhire gave birth to her and St. Paul Saints manager, Toby Gardenhire’s, first child. Since then, Toby has been at home with Sarah and Bodie. In the interim, Defensive Coach Tyler Smarslok has been at the helm racking up
COLUMBUS, OH (June 19, 2022) - On Wednesday, June 9 Sarah Gardenhire gave birth to her and St. Paul Saints manager, Toby Gardenhire’s, first child. Since then, Toby has been at home with Sarah and Bodie. In the interim, Defensive Coach Tyler Smarslok has been at the helm racking up six wins in nine games going into Sunday. On Sunday against the Columbus Clippers, the Saints built up a 10-3 lead and needed to hang on for an 11-10 victory that gave Gardenhire his 100th win as manager of the Saints. The Saints split the six-game series and improved to 33-32 on the season.
With the Saints leading 10-3 in the bottom of the seventh the Clippers got to within one. David Fry led off the inning with a single to left and Gavin Collins was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Tyler Freeman singled to load the bases. Franmil Reyes made it 10-4 with an RBI single to center and that was followed by a bases loaded walk to Nolan Jones cutting the lead to 10-5. Alex Call then delivered a grand slam that saw the Saints lead shrink to one at 10-9.
The Saints got a much needed insurance run in eighth when Curtis Terry tripled with two outs and scored on a single from Mark Contreras. Contreras finished the game 4-4 with two RBI and three runs scored.
The turning point in the game came in the bottom of the inning when the Clippers loaded the bases with one out. Ian Hamilton came out of the bullpen and got Freeman to ground into an inning ending double play.
In the bottom of the ninth, however, the Clippers made it interesting as the Major League rehabber, Reyes, crushed a solo homer off the batter’s eye in center to cut the Saints lead to one. A walk to Jones and a wild pitch with one out put the tying run in scoring position. With two outs, Smarslok went to his bullpen for Jake Petricka. Three days prior, Petricka had given up four runs in 0.2 inning including an RBI single to Fry. He faced Fry once again, but got him to popout to short to end the game.
For the fourth time in the six-game series the Saints scored in the first. With one out Caleb Hamilton drew a walk. Michael Helman singled to right-center and the ball was booted by the center fielder Call which allowed Hamilton score and sent Helman to second. With two outs, Mark Contreras made it 2-0 with an RBI single to right-center.
With the Saints up 2-1 in the second John Andreoli walked with one out and Elliot Soto doubled him to third. Spencer Steer lined a two-run single into left-center increasing the Saints lead to 4-1.
For the second consecutive inning the Clippers answered with a run of their own getting a solo homer from Fry, his 11th of the season, to lead off the inning cutting the lead to 4-2.
The offense continued to take off for the Saints in the third as Terry led off with a solo homer to left, his seventh of the season, making it 5-2. Back-to-back singles by Contreras and Palacios put runners at the corners. A double play by Roy Morales scored Contreras putting the Saints up 6-2.
Morales came through in the fifth, this time getting his RBIs. Terry led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a single by Contreras. Morales then doubled off the bag at third scoring both runners giving the Saints an 8-2 lead.
The Clippers made it 8-3 on a solo homer by Mitchell Tolman in the bottom of the inning, his eighth of the season.
The Saints got their fifth, two-run inning of the game in the seventh. Contreras led off with a walk and Palacios doubled him to third. With one out, back-to-back walks forced in a run increasing the lead to 9-3. A sacrifice fly from Steer made it 10-3. They needed all of those runs to hang on and win against the team with the second best record in their division, the Clippers.
The Saints are off on Monday and return to action on Tuesday at Sahlen Field to take on the Buffalo Bisons in game one of a six series at 6:05 p.m. (CT). Both teams are TBA. The game can be seen on MiLB.TV and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.