ST. PAUL, MN (July 31, 2021) - The night started with the excitement of watching Drew Strotman make his Minnesota Twins organization debut. The right-hander pitched well, but made two mistakes that left the ballpark. It was a home run in the seventh, however, that proved to be the difference
ST. PAUL, MN (July 31, 2021) - The night started with the excitement of watching Drew Strotman make his Minnesota Twins organization debut. The right-hander pitched well, but made two mistakes that left the ballpark. It was a home run in the seventh, however, that proved to be the difference as the St. Paul Saints lost 6-5 on Saturday night at CHS Field to the Indianapolis Indians in front of 9,197.
Strotman, who had given up just six home runs in 179.0 career innings gave up a long ball to lead off the second inning. Christian Bethancourt hit a solo homer to straightaway center, his seventh of the season, making it 1-0.
In the third, Strotman was hurt by the long ball once again. Taylor Davis led off with a single to center and Chris Sharpe followed with a two-run homer to right, his fifth of the season, increasing the Indians lead to 3-0. It was the first time in his career Strotman gave up two home runs in a game.
The Saints got the two runs back in the bottom of the inning as JT Riddle led off with a hit by pitch. Keon Broxton singled him to second and Jose Miranda made it 3-1 with an RBI single to left-center. Sherman Johnson walked to load the bases, but a double play off the bat of Rob Refsnyder that went home to first put runners at second and third with two outs. An infield single from Mark Contreras scored Miranda to get the Saints within 3-2.
The Indians added to their lead in the fifth as Davis led off the inning with a walk. With one out, Strotman was removed for Ian Hamilton. He walked the first hitter he faced, Cole Tucker. Fabricio Macias’ single to center loaded the bases. That was followed by a sacrifice fly from Major League rehabber, Cole Moran, making it 4-2 Indians. Strotman went 4.1 innings allowing four runs on three hits while walking two and striking out one.
The Saints took the lead in the bottom of the inning as Broxton led off with a walk. He stole second and scored when Jose Miranda hit a ground ball to third and Hunter Owen threw it away at first and Miranda took second. With one out, Refsnyder walked and Contreras followed with an RBI double tying the game at four. Jimmy Kerrigan gave the Saints a 5-4 lead with a sacrifice fly to left.
The lead went back to the Indians in the seventh as Davis led off with a walk against reliever Kyle Barraclough. With one out Tucker crushed a two-run homer to right, his third of the season, making it 6-5 Indians.
The Saints had an opportunity to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the inning against knuckleballer Steven Wright. With one out Johnson singled to left and that was followed by a single to right by Refsnyder. With two outs Kerrigan reached on an infield single to load the bases. Wright would fan Ben Rortvedt to end the inning. Wright pitched the final 3.0 innings and struck out eight of the nine outs he recorded.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the six-game series on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. The Saints send RHP Chandler Shepherd (5-4, 5.86) to the mound against LHP Dillon Peters (2-2, 4.06). The game can be seen on 45TV and MiLB.TV and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.