Saint Paul, Minnesota - For the second time this week nine innings was not enough to decide the game between the Saints and Columbus Clippers. On Thursday it took ten. In the 10th Hernan Perez delivered a walk-off single for the Saints in an 8-7 win in front of 6,066 fans. The Saints improved to 75-53 on the season.
The Saints fell behind early. In the first, Jose Tena hit a solo home run, which gave Columbus a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Johnathan Rodriguez was hit-by-the-pitch. Next, Jhonkensy Noel reached on a throwing error from Saints shortstop Brooks Lee. This error turned out to be costly. A good throw would have ended the inning. Instead, George Valera came to the plate with two outs. Valera hit his seventh home run of the season, which gave Columbus a 4-0 lead.
The Saints chipped away starting in the third. Chris Williams hit his 20th home run of the season. The Saints are down 4-1 at the end of three.
Each team scored a run in the fourth. Columbus had back-to-back doubles from Zack Collins and Daniel Schneemann. For the Saints, Trevor Larnach led off the inning with a double. Next, Anthony Prato flew out to right, but Larnach tagged and advanced to third. Finally, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. grounded out to second, but Larnach scored, and the Saints trailed 5-2.
The breakthrough inning for the Saints was the sixth. Alex Kirilloff (MLB Rehab Assignment) doubled to start the inning. Later in the inning, Larnach doubled, which brought home Kirilloff. Prato walked and Keirsey Jr. singled to load the bases. With the bases loaded and one out Jair Camargo stepped to the plate. Camargo grounded out to pitcher Zack Plesac; however, Plesac bobbled the ball and was unable to turn a double play. This allowed Larnach to score. The Saints were not done yet. With two outs, Hernan Perez hit his ninth home run of the season. This was a three-run home run to center, and the Saints took a 7-5 lead. That ended the night for Plesac. Plesac worked 5.2 innings and allowed seven runs on nine hits. Nic Enright entered the game and struck out Chris Williams to end the inning. At the end of six the Saints had a 7-5 lead.
Andrew Bechtold came into the game to pitch the seventh for the Saints. Bechtold allowed two runs. Raynel Delgado singled and stole second base. Next, Brayan Rocchio singled and the Clippers had runners at the corners. Jose Tena hit a sacrifice fly to center, which allowed Delgado to score. On a wild pitch from Bechtold, Rocchio scored, and the game was tied at seven.
The game would stay like that until the tenth. Columbus was unable to push the inherited runner across in the top half of the inning. The Saints were able to capitalize. Lee started the inning at second base. Columbus got two quick outs when Larnach struck out and Prato grounded out. Next, Cade Smith intentionally walked Keirsey Jr. and Jair Camargo worked a walk. Perez had the bases loaded with two outs when he stepped to the plate. Perez singled to right, which brought home Lee, and the Saints won 8-7 in ten innings.
Francis Peguero was called up from Double-A Wichita on August 22nd. Peguero started for the Saints on Thursday night. He worked two innings and allowed four runs (one earned) on four hits. Louie Varland worked the bulk of the game. Varland pitched four innings and allowed one run on three hits. Michael Boyle picked up his fourth win of the season for the Saints working the final three innings.
The Columbus Clippers and St. Paul Saints meet in game four of a six-game series on Friday night at CHS Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Columbus will send RHP Chris Vallimont (3-6, 5.50) to the mound while the Saints will counter with RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (5-6, 5.38). The game can be seen on the Saints Broadcast Network, MiLB.TV, and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.