Jeffers Homers, But Saints First Game as a Triple-A Affiliate Doesn'T Go as Planned in 8-2 Loss
OMAHA, NE - Ryan Jeffers was as advertised for the St. Paul Saints in their first ever game as the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. He delivered the first hit, home run, and RBIs in franchise history. Saints pitchers recorded 14 strikeouts, but they couldn't keep the Omaha Storm Chasers off the board in each of the first five innings that included four home runs. In the end it was too much for the Saints to overcome in an 8-2 loss on Tuesday night at Werner Park.
Andrew Albers got the start for the Saints and he was greeted by a leadoff Edward Olivares triple in the first. With one out, Emmanuel Rivas made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly.
The crooked number came in the second when Kelvin Gutierrez led off with a triple to right-center that just bounced out of the outstretched glove of Keon Broxton. With one out, Meibrys Viloria was hit by a pitch. Erick Mejia made it 2-0 with a safety squeeze single. With two outs, Olivares deposited a three-run homer to left, his first of the season, to make it 5-0.
The Storm Chasers would tack on two more homers off Albers, a solo shot from Ryan McBroom in the third and a solo blast from Anderson Miller in the fourth, to make it 7-0. Albers lasted 4.0 innings allowing seven runs on eight hits while striking out six.
The Storm Chasers tacked on one more solo homer, this time off of reliever Glenn Sparkman in the fifth. Gabriel Cancel drilled one over the left field wall to make it 8-0. That was the only blemish for Sparkman who went 2.0 innings allowing one run on one hit and striking out five.
Jeffers was the offensive star of the night. He led off the second inning against the Royals number four prospect, Jackson Kowar, with a single to left, the first ever hit in franchise history. Kowar was tremendous going 5.1 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking two and striking out nine.
In the seventh, the Saints finally got on the board. Travis Blankenhorn led off with a double to right off reliever Jake Kalish. Jeffers followed with a 447-foot blast to left-center with an exit velocity of 110 miles per hour. That made the score 8-2. Jeffers finished the night 2-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Andrew Vasquez finished up the night on the mound for the Saints going 2.0 perfect innings and striking out three.
The same two teams meet in game two of the six game series on Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. The Saints send LHP Charlie Barnes (NR) to the mound against Storm Chasers RHP Carlos Hernandez (NR). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
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