ST. PAUL, MN (July 2, 2022) - There would be no late game heroics on Saturday night for the St. Paul Saints. A first inning grand slam from the Omaha Storm Chasers, and six runs over the first three innings, were too much for the Saints to overcome in a
ST. PAUL, MN (July 2, 2022) - There would be no late game heroics on Saturday night for the St. Paul Saints. A first inning grand slam from the Omaha Storm Chasers, and six runs over the first three innings, were too much for the Saints to overcome in a 6-4 loss at CHS Field in front of 8,475.
The Storm Chasers jumped on top in the first with a crooked number as the first four hitters reached. Roman Quinn started the game with a bunt single to first. Nick Pratto walked, and Nate Eaton singled to left loading the bases. Michael Massey hit an opposite field grand slam to left, his fifth of the season, making it 4-0.
For the second consecutive inning the Storm Chasers loaded the bases with nobody out on an infield single off the pitcher Ariel Jurado’s glove by Angelo Castellano, a single to right from Iván Castillo, and an infield single to second by Quinn. Back-to-back strikeouts by Jurado put him in a good position to get out of the inning, but a walk to Massey made it 5-0. Jurado allowed five runs over 1.2 innings.
In the third, the Storm Chasers added another run courtesy of a solo homer from Clay Dungan, his seventh of the season, increasing the lead to 6-0.
The Saints utilized a long ball of their own to get on the board in the fifth. With Jermaine Palacios on at first courtesy of a fielder’s choice, Mark Contreras drilled a two-run homer to right-center, his eighth of the season, making it 6-2.
Saints reliever Mario Sanchez did an incredible job of keeping his team in the game. He took over in the fifth and retired the side in order with two strikeouts. The lone inning he allowed a baserunner was the sixth as he walked the leadoff man, Gabriel Cancel. With one out, Castillo singled to center putting runners at first and second. Sanchez retired the next two hitters on strikeouts to end the inning. Sanchez would retire the final eight batters he faced as he went 4.0 shutout innings of relief allowing one hit while walking one and striking out five.
Jake Cave, who extended his streak of reaching base safely to 46 with a walk in the first and his hit streak to 13 with a fifth inning single, continued his torrid streak at the dish in the seventh with a solo homer to left-center, his 10th of the season and fourth in the last six-games, making it 6-3. Palacios followed with a walk, moved to second on a groundout, and scored on a single from Michael Helman getting the Saints to within 6-4.
The Saints had an opportunity to get closer in the eighth when Curtis Terry led off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout, and took third on an infield single from Elliot Soto. With runners at the corners and one out, however, Spencer Steer and Cave struck out to end the inning.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the six-game series on Sunday evening at 6:07 p.m. The Saints send RHP Aaron Sanchez (2-0, 4.75) to the mound against Storm Chasers LHP Drew Parrish (1-1, 5.95). The game can be seen on 45TV and MiLB.TV and heard on KFAN, 100.3 FM.