COLUMBUS, OH (May 18, 2023) - If you blinked, chances are you missed the entire game. In the 31-year franchise history of the St. Paul Saints they have never played a quicker game. It took just one hour and 46 minutes, but the Saints lost to the Columbus Clippers 2-1
COLUMBUS, OH *(May 18, 2023) - *If you blinked, chances are you missed the entire game. In the 31-year franchise history of the St. Paul Saints they have never played a quicker game. It took just one hour and 46 minutes, but the Saints lost to the Columbus Clippers 2-1 on Thursday night at Huntington Park. The loss drops the Saints to 22-18 on the season.
The Saints pitching was masterful retiring the side in order in the first inning and the fourth through eighth. They retired the final 16 hitters of the night, but it was the second inning that proved to be the difference.
In the second the Clippers scored the only runs they needed off Saints starter Brent Headrick. With one out, Zach Collins singled to right and that was followed by a hit by pitch to Jhonkensy Noel. After a groundout moved the runners up, Chris Roller doubled them both home giving the Clippers a 2-0 lead.
Headrick retired the first two hitters in the third before giving up back-to-back singles to Bo Naylor and Oscar Gonzalez before striking out Collins to end the inning. The single by Gonzalez was the last base runners the Clippers got all night. Headrick went 6.0 innings allowing two runs on four hits while striking out seven. Ronny Henriquez pitched 2.0 perfect innings of relief while striking out four.
The Saints got a runner to second in the second when Mark Contreras reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second, but Ryan LaMarre grounded out and Andrew Stevenson flew out.
The Saints didn’t have another runner reach second until the eighth as they grounded into three double plays across four innings in the third, sixth, and seventh.
In the eighth, the Saints finally got on the board. With one out Stevenson singled to left. He stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher Naylor. Hernán Pérez’ sacrifice fly scored Stevenson making it 2-1.
The Saints had a great opportunity in the ninth. Jose Miranda led off the inning by driving a pitch to left, but Richie Palacios caught the ball with his back up against the wall. Edouard Julien followed with a ground rule double down the left field line. He was left stranded, however, as Alex De Goti and Matt Wallner struck out to end the game.
Wallner finished the night 3-4 and Royce Lewis was 0-3 in his second game with the Saints on Major League rehab.
For just the second time as a Triple-A franchise, the Saints nor their opponent, drew a walk. The only other time that has occurred was July 15, 2022 vs. Toledo.
The previous quickest game in franchise history was as an Independent Professional Baseball team when they played one hour and 52 minutes on September 3, 2004 at Winnipeg, a 1-0 loss. Their shortest nine inning game as a Triple-A affiliate was two hours and seven minutes done twice in 2022, April 21 at Toledo, a 2-1 loss and August 12 vs. Columbus, a 5-1 win.
The same two teams meet in game four of a six-game series on Friday night at 6:05 p.m. (CT) at Huntington Park. The Saints send RHP Aaron Sanchez (1-4, 5.40) to the mound against Clippers RHP Zach Plesac (1-0, 1.64). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.