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 St. Paul Saints

It's Spelled R-E-L-I-E-F, Saints' Bullpen Magnificent in 7-4 Comeback Victory

May 24, 2024 - International League (IL)
St. Paul Saints News Release

BUFFALO, NY - A total of 12 innings of baseball on Thursday night and a doubleheader looming on Tuesday in Rochester. The St. Paul Saints know they will need to rely on plenty of arms over the next few days and on Friday night at Sahlen Field it came in the form of three arms out of the bullpen. Major League rehabber Josh Winder, Hobie Harris, and Diego Castillo retired 15 in a row and 17 of the final 18 in a come from behind 7-4 victory over the Buffalo Bisons.

The Bisons came out swinging in the first to take the early lead. With one out Leo Jimenez hit a solo homer to left, his fifth of the season, giving the Bisons a 1-0 lead. Addison Barger followed with a single to right. Barger advanced to second on a wild pitch and with two outs scored on a single to left by Brian Serven making it 2-0. After a walk to Riley Tirotta, Will Robertson made it 3-0 with an RBI single to right.

In the third, Anthony Prato led off the inning for the Saints by being hit by a pitch. Diego Castillo's check swing double down the right field line put runners at second and third. Back-to-back sacrifice flies from Austin Martin and DaShawn Keirsey Jr. cut the deficit to 3-2.

The Bisons answered back in the bottom of the inning when Orelvis Martinez led off with a double and Brian Serven walked. After a fielder's choice put runners at the corners, Robertson's sacrifice fly to left gave the Bisons a 4-2 lead. From there it was all the Saints bullpen that kept them in the game and allowed for the comeback win.

Winder gave up a one out single in the fourth before retiring the next two hitters on a fielder's choice and a strikeout. He retired the Bisons in order in the fifth, fanning the first two hitters he faced. Winder went 2.0 shutout innings allowing one hit and striking out three.

Harris was the next man out of the bullpen and couldn't have pitched any better. He went 3.0 perfect innings of relief and fanned five, tied for the second most in his career. He got seven whiffs off 15 swings including four of eight on his splitter.

The first five batters in the sixth reached for the Saints as they took their first lead of the night, one they wouldn't relinquish. Martin led off with a single to left-center. Keirsey Jr. grounded a single into right-center as Martin took third and Keirsey Jr. went to second on the throw to third. Michael Helman lined an RBI single into left as the Saints got to within 4-3. After a walk to Matt Wallner loaded the bases, Yunior Severino singled to left that scored Keirsey Jr. and Helman came into score when the left fielder Barger booted the ball, giving the Saints a 5-4 lead.

With two outs and nobody on in the eighth, the Saints managed to push across a couple of insurance runs with three straight hits. Severino got it started with a single to center. Alex Isola followed with a single to right that sent Severino to third. Isola then stole second and both scored on a single to right by Patrick Winkel, increasing the lead to 7-4. The steal by Isola gave the Saints 11 consecutive games in which they've stolen a base, adding to their franchise record (the former record was nine).

Diego Castillo came on in the ninth and struck out the first batter he faced, giving the Saints 15 Bisons in a row retired. That ended when Spencer Horwitz singled to right, but Castillo came right back to get a groundout and flyout to end the game. Castillo picked up his fifth save of the season.

The same two teams meet on Saturday night in game five of the six-game series at Sahlen Field at 5:05 p.m. (CT). The Saints send RHP David Festa (0-1, 3.18) to the mound and the Bisons are TBA. The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.

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