Dobnak Sharp, Saints’ Hitting Timely in 4-2 Win over MudHens
2023 Season: Game 146 Recap – Sept. 21
By CAP’N JOHN CLINGER
The Saints faced two former Minnesota Twins pitchers last night (Thursday) at CHS Field. One kept them off the scoreboard for six innings. The other -- not so much. And when the visiting Toledo MudHens were at bat, the Saints had an ex-Twin of their own on the mound.
This one went the Saints’ way. Randy Dobnak pitched 6 innings and gave up just one run on 3 hits, striking out 7 MudHens, and the Saints rallied to win, 4-2. And oh, by the way, present Twin Byron Buxton contributed to the victory in his first night of a “major league rehab” (MLR) assignment.
With wins the last three nights, the Saints are halfway to a sweep of their final series of the season. Their record stands at 83-63 in the triple-A International League.
The Saints scored 4 runs in the 7th to overtake the visitors, but not until after their first ex-Twins mound opponent, Bryan Sammons (drafted by Minnesota in 2017), left with a 1-0 lead. Sammons gave up only 4 hits and struck out 8 batters in his 6-inning shutout effort.
Enter Andrew Vasquez, another former Twins draft pick (2015) who actually made it to the big leagues with the Twins in 2018. He inherited a 2-0 lead because the MudHens scored a run off Bechtold in the top of the 7th. Vasquez didn’t help himself with a hit batsman and a wild pitch in his two-thirds of an inning, but he also was victimized by a horrible error and the Saints didn’t exactly tear the cover off the ball.
Lee started the winning rally in the bottom of the 7th with a sharp single to left on the first pitch of Vasquez’s appearance. Garlick hit a grounder to third base and the fielder tried to force Lee out at 2nd, but the throw sailed 10 feet wide of the bag and way into right field, allowing Lee to score and Garlick to reach 3rd. Vasquez hit the next batter, Camargo, to put him on 1st, then threw his next pitch to the backstop. Garlick raced home to tie the game, 2-2.
Vasquez’s troubles were only half over. After striking out Celestino, he yielded a single to Perez that brought Camargo home. Then the Toledo hurler gave up a single to Helman, ending his night. Hill was brought in to replace Vasquez and face Buxton. Buxton brought the announced crowd of 6,547 humans to their feet with a soft single that scored Perez with the fourth run. Buxton exited for a pinch runner and wound up going 1-for-4 including two strikeouts against the Automatic Ball-Strike system.
The season-ending series continues tonight (Friday) at 6:37 p.m. Saturday’s game will also start at 6:37 and Sunday’s season finale will begin at 12:07 p.m.
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