BUFFALO, NY (June 1, 2023) - The St. Paul Saints are making a habit of multi-run innings and scoring late. For the ninth consecutive game they scored at least a run in the seventh inning or later and for the eighth straight time they put up at least one multi-run
_BUFFALO, NY _*(June 1, 2023) - *The St. Paul Saints are making a habit of multi-run innings and scoring late. For the ninth consecutive game they scored at least a run in the seventh inning or later and for the eighth straight time they put up at least one multi-run inning. They turned a tie game into a blowout with six-runs over the final two innings in an 11-5 victory over the Buffalo Bisons on Thursday afternoon at Sahlen Field. The win was a season-tying high fifth straight for the Saints and they improved to a season-high eight games over .500 at 30-22.
With the game tied at five in the eighth inning the red hot Matt Wallner came calling. He homered for the third straight game, the first time he’s accomplished that in his career, a solo homer to right-center, his seventh of the season, giving the Saints a 6-5 lead.
The Saints put the game away in the ninth. With one out, Alex De Goti singled to center. That was followed by a walk to Andrew Stevenson and a hit by pitch to Jose Miranda to load the bases. With two outs, Mark Contreras walked to force in a run and give the Saints a 7-5 lead. Chris Williams then drilled a grand slam to left, the fourth of his career and his sixth home run of the season, putting the Saints up 11-5. Williams finished 3-5, a triple shy of the cycle with four RBI and two runs scored. The grand slam was the Saints fifth of the season, tied for third most in all of baseball only behind the six, hit by the Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A, Texas Rangers) and Los Angeles Dodgers. Their 1.266 OPS is second best in all of baseball only behind the Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ (Single-A, Chicago Cubs) 1.391.
For the first time in the series, the Bisons got on the board first. They loaded the bases with the first three hitters of the fourth inning on back-to-back singles by Tanner Morris and a hit by pitch to Davis Schneider. Wynton Bernard gave the Bisons a 2-0 lead with a two-run single to right-center. With one out, Otto Lopez dropped an RBI single into right-center increasing the lead to 3-0.
Trailing for the first time in the series, the Saints responded in the fourth. Williams and Andrew Bechtold started the inning with back-to-back singles putting runners at the corners. A sacrifice fly from Jair Camargo scored Williams getting the Saints to within 3-1. Seth Gray collected his first Triple-A hit with a looper into shallow right-center putting runners at first and second. A walk to De Goti loaded the bases and Stevenson made it 3-2 with an RBI infield single off the glove of the shortstop Lopez. With two outs, Wallner cleared the bases ripping a two-run single to right and Stevenson scored on a fielding error by the right fielder Cam Eden giving the Saints a 5-3 lead. Wallner went 2-5 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored.
The Bisons knotted the game at five in the sixth. Rob Brantley led off with a double to center. With one out, Luis De Los Santos singled off the glove of pitcher Austin Brice. With runners at the corners, a passed ball moved De Los Santos to second. That proved costly as Rafael Lantigua lined a single into left scoring a pair to tie the game at five.
Caleb Thielbar pitched 1.0 perfect inning of relief striking out two in his second Major League rehab appearance. He threw 22 pitches, 16 for strikes.
The same two teams meet in game four of a six-game series on Friday night at Sahlen Field at 6:05 p.m. (CT). The Saints send RHP Randy Dobnak (2-1, 4.97) to the mound against Bisons RHP Zach Thompson (1-4, 7.62). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.