LOUISVILLE, KY (September 6, 2023) - Bizarre might be an understatement for Wednesday night’s game between the St. Paul Saints and Louisville Bats. The Saints clubbed five home runs, the pitchers walked 11, and each team hit a grand slam in the matter of an inning. In the end, it
_LOUISVILLE, KY _*(September 6, 2023) - *Bizarre might be an understatement for Wednesday night’s game between the St. Paul Saints and Louisville Bats. The Saints clubbed five home runs, the pitchers walked 11, and each team hit a grand slam in the matter of an inning. In the end, it was the Saints coming from behind with a seven-run ninth inning for a 13-8 victory at Louisville Slugger Field. The win improves the Saints to 34-25 in the second half.
After giving up six runs in the eighth inning to turn a 6-2 lead into an 8-6 deficit, the Saints offense produced big time in the ninth with a seven-run inning of their own. With one out, Austin Martin got it started with a single to right-center. Gilberto Celestino followed with a single to center and Martin took third on a bobble in center by Jacob Hurtubise. Pinch hitter DaShawn Keirsey Jr. walked loading the bases. Michael Helman got the Saints to within one on an RBI single to left. He finished the night 2-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Major League rehabber Alex Kirilloff gave the Saints a 9-8 lead with a two-run single to right-center. He finished the night 2-5 with two RBI, and a run scored. After a walk to Brooks Lee loaded the bases, up stepped Trevor Larnach. He crushed the first grand slam of his career, a 419-foot blast to center, his second homer of the night, putting the Saints up 13-8. The grand slam was the 13th of the season for the Saints, two more than any other team in baseball. It’s one shy of the modern day Minor League record (stats kept since 2005) by the Albuquerque Isotopes who hit 14 in 2022. Larnach finished the night 2-5 with a career-tying high two homers and career-high six RBI with two run scored.
The game only wound up in that situation because the Bats got a grand slam of their own in a six-run eighth inning. With the Saints up 6-2 Jhonny Pereda led off with a double and Jose Barrero walked. With one out Lopez made it 6-3 with an RBI double to right. After a pitching change brought in Ronny Henriquez, he walked Hurtubise loading the bases. Major League rehabber Kevin Newman reached on a fielder’s choice when he hit a grounder up the middle that was fielded by the second baseman Helman, who tried to flip to the shortstop Lee, but the two couldn’t connect. A run scored on the play making it 6-4. Jason Vosler followed with a grand slam to center, his third grand slam of the season and 18th homer of the season, giving the Bats an 8-6 lead.
The Saints looked like they would cruise to victory by smashing three home runs and scoring five in the first. Helman started off the game with a solo homer to left, his fifth of the season giving the Saints a 1-0 lead. It was the Saints eighth leadoff homer of the season and was a precursor of things to come in the inning. With one out Lee reached on an infield single to third and that was followed by a two-run opposite field homer to left-center by Larnach, his first of the night and 13th of the season, increasing the lead to 3-0. Kyle Garlick was hit by a pitch and that was followed by a 414-foot, two-run homer to right-center by Yunior Severino, his second in as many nights, seventh with the Saints, and 31st of the season, making it 5-0.
The Bats snagged a couple of runs in the third on just one hit, a leadoff single by Alejo Lopez. David Festa walked the next two hitters to load the bases. Back-to-back RBI groundouts by Vosler and Henry Ramos cut the Saints lead to 5-2. Festa went 4.2 innings allowing just two runs on three hits, but he walked a career-high six and struck out six.
Martin continued the home run derby for the Saints with a 431-foot solo homer to left in the fourth, his sixth of the season, making it 6-2.
It’s the second time this season the Saints have hit five home runs at Louisville Slugger Field. Of the Saints 13 grand slams, nine have come at CHS Field and four on the road. The Saints have hit three grand slams against the Bats, two in the last two games at Louisville Slugger Field.
The same two teams meet in game three of six-game series on Thursday night at Louisville Slugger Field at 5:35 p.m. (CT). The Saints send RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (5-6, 5.29) to the mound against Bats RHP Alec Mills (0-1, 5.85). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.