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 St. Paul Saints

Offense Explodes Again, Festa K's 10 Again, Saints Win Again

June 14, 2024 - International League (IL)
St. Paul Saints News Release

LOUISVILLE, KY - For the first time this season the St. Paul Saints have won four consecutive games. They scored eight runs over the first two innings and then rode the right arm of David Festa, who fanned a franchise tying 10 for the third time this season, in a 9-5 victory over the Louisville Bats on Friday night at Louisville Slugger Field.

All nine Saints starters collected a hit with seven of nine collecting two hits and it started from the first batter of the game.

It may have been a different night, but it was the same result in the first inning for the Saints as they sent nine men to the plate and scored five runs. Edouard Julien led off the game with a single to right-center. Brooks Lee reached on a single off the glove of third baseman Erik Gonzalez. Matt Wallner made it 1-0 with an RBI single to center. With runners at first and second and one out Yunior Severino sent an RBI single into center giving the Saints a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Tony Kemp reached out and poked an RBI single into left-center increasing the lead to 3-0. Patrick Winkel finished the scoring with a two-run double to right-center making it 5-0.

Festa had only one hiccup on the night, and it came in the bottom of the first. He hit leadoff man Blake Dunn, but settled down and struck out the next two. Then, on a 3-0 count, Festa threw a fastball to Edwin Rios that was hit over the center field wall, his 10th of the season, cutting the lead to 5-2.

No worries for the Saints as they added three in the second. Julien and Lee started with back-to-back singles putting runners at first and second. After a fielder's choice from Wallner put runners at the corners, Michael Helman's infield single to short, scored Julien making it 6-2. With two outs Jair Camargo doubled between the first base line and the first baseman down into the right field corner plating two and giving the Saints an 8-2 lead.

Festa cruised from there not facing any more than four batters in an inning, which came in the sixth, and no one reaching second base. Festa went 6.0 innings allowing two runs on four hits while not walking anyone and striking out a franchise-tying 10. It's the third time this season he has struck out 10. The only other pitcher to strikeout 10 in a game in franchise history was Griffin Jax on May 28, 2021 at Iowa.

With two outs and nobody on in the sixth the Saints received back-to-back walks to Helman and Severino. After a pitching change, Camargo singled to right scoring Helman as the Saints increased their lead to 9-2. Camargo finished 2-5 with a double and three RBI giving him seven RBI over the last two games.

The Bats tried to make it interesting in the eighth. Austin Brice, after pitching a scoreless eighth, loaded the bases on the first three hitters. Levi Jordan led off with a single to right, Erik Gonzalez was hit by a pitch, and Dunn walked. A balk forced in a run making it 9-3. Liván Soto's infield single to short scored a run cutting the Saints lead to 9-4. Ater a pitching change, Rece Hinds made it 9-5 with a sacrifice fly to right. Jeff Brigham finished off the inning and despite putting two on in the ninth, struck out four in his 2.0 innings of work.

The Saints struck out 16 on the night, the second time they've fanned that many this season. Both have come against the Bats.

The same two teams meet in game five of a six-game series on Saturday night at Louisville Slugger Field at 6:15 p.m. (CT). The Saints send RHP Randy Dobnak (4-5, 5.02) to the mound against Bats RHP Graham Ashcraft (NR). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.

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