Rodríguez Solid, Saints Hit Three Solo Homers, End Eight Game Road Losing Streak 4-1 Over Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - All it took for the St. Paul Saints to end their eight-game road losing streak was superb pitching, three solo homers, and one fly ball that just missed getting over the wall. The Saints got all of that in a 4-1 victory over the Indianapolis Indians on Friday night at Victory Field. The eight-game road losing streak was one shy of their franchise record of nine from May 10-20, 2022.
For the 10th time this season the Saints led off the game with a home run as Michael Helman hit a solo homer to left, his 13th of the season and fourth leadoff homer of the season, making it 1-0. Three batters later John Andreoli made it 2-0 with a solo homer to left, his 12th with the Saints and 14th of the season, making it 2-0.
Dereck Rodríguez made his first start for the Saints since his gutty extra innings performance with the Minnesota Twins against Cleveland. After retiring the side in order in the first, he struggled with his control in the second, walking the first two hitters. With one out, Rodríguez got a tailor-made double play to short, but Wander Javier booted it, and his error loaded the bases. That wasn't an issue for Rodríguez who struck out Mason Martin and got Aaron Shackelford to fly out to end the inning.
The Saints didn't collect a hit in the third, but still scored a run. With one out Roy Morales was hit by a pitch. Ryan Jeffers then walked. The two pulled off a double steal. The steal of second by Jeffers was his first professional stolen base. A groundout by Andreoli scored Morales putting the Saints up 3-0.
A third solo homer gave the Saints a 4-0 lead as Andrew Bechtold hit his third of the season in the top of the fourth.
Rodríguez entered the fifth inning having retired eight straight and he extended that to 10 in a row by getting the first two hitters. He gave up a two-out hit to Shackelford and walked Hoy Park. A fly out by Tucupita Marcano ended the inning and Rodríguez' night. He went 5.0 shutout allowing one hit while walking three and striking out four.
The Indians made it interesting in the bottom of the eighth loading the bases with one out. With one out, Marcano walked, Endy Rodriguez reached on a bunt single, and Malcom Nunez singled to left. Blake Sabol nearly tied it, but his fly ball to right sent Andreoli right up against the wall for a sacrifice fly scoring Marcano to make it 4-1. Michael Feliz struck out Travis Swaggerty to end the inning.
Jeffers finished 1-4 with a walk and stolen base in his seventh Major League rehab game.
The same two teams meet in the finale of the six-game series on Saturday night at 5:35 p.m. (CT). The Saints send RHP Ariel Jurado (2-2, 3.54) and the Indians are TBA. The game can be seen on MiLB.TV and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.
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