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 St. Paul Saints

Saints Three Homers in Fourth Not Enough in 9-7 Loss to I-Cubs

April 9, 2024 - International League (IL)
St. Paul Saints News Release

ST. PAUL, MN - Giving up six runs in the first two innings isn't a recipe for victory, especially when the St. Paul Saints had trouble scoring runs in their first eight games. The bats, however, woke up by drilling three home runs in a four-run fourth and sending the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but they finished just short in a 9-7 loss to the Iowa Cubs in front of 2,909 at CHS Field on Tuesday evening.

The I-Cubs grabbed the lead in the first as the first three hitters all reached. Owen Caissie and Major League rehabber Patrick Wisdom started the game with back-to-back doubles giving the I-Cubs a 1-0 lead. Matt Mervis followed with a single that put runners at the corners. With one out, B.J. Murray Jr's fielder's choice scored Wisdom, increasing the lead to 2-0.

The offense for the I-Cubs continued to do damage slugging three home runs in the second. Luis Vazquez led off the inning with a solo home run to left, his second of the season, making it 3-0. With one out Chase Strumpf doubled to left-center and, with two outs, Wisdom hit a two-run homer to left, his first on rehab, giving the I-Cubs a 5-0 lead. The I-Cubs went back-to-back as Mervis delivered a solo homer to right, his first of the season, increasing the lead to 6-0.

The Saints came storming back with three home runs of their own in the fourth inning. Michael Helman got the Saints on the board with a leadoff home run, his first of the season, making it 6-1. Patrick Winkel walked and Jair Camargo blasted a two-run homer to right, his second of the season, cutting the deficit to 6-3. For the second time this season the Saints went back-to-back as Yunior Severino drilled a solo homer to left, his first of the season, getting the Saints to within 6-4.

In the fifth, the I-Cubs built back up their lead when Mervis led off with a double to right-center and, with one out, scored on a single to right-center by BJ Murray Jr. making it 7-4. With two outs Vazquez hit his second home run of the night, a two-run shot to left, his third of the season, giving the I-Cubs a 9-4 lead.

Minnesota Twins left-hander Caleb Thielbar made his first rehab appearance for the Saints. He pitched the sixth inning and after a leadoff walk, got Wisdom to ground into a double play. Mervis collected his fourth hit of the night with a bloop single to center, but Thielbar finished his night off with a strikeout of Alexander Canario. Thielbar went 1.0 shutout inning allowing one hit while walking one and striking out one. He threw 23 pitches, 10 for strikes.

The Saints took advantage of wildness from Carl Edwards Jr. to get a run in the sixth. Edwards Jr. walked the first three hitters to load the bases. An RBI fielder's choice from Diego A. Castillo got the Saints to within four at 9-5.

The second Major League rehabber, Josh Staumont, pitched the seventh inning. He got back-to-back fly outs to center to start the inning before walking Vazquez. Staumont finished off his scoreless seventh by getting Darius Hill to fly out to center. Staumont threw 18 pitches, 12 for strikes. The Saints made it interesting in the ninth as Yoyner Fajardo led off the inning with a single to left. With one out, Helman's single to center put runners at first and second. With two outs Camargo drilled a two-run double off the wall in center getting the Saints to within two at 9-7. Camargo finished the night 2-4 with a home run, four RBI, and two runs scored. Severino, however, would ground into a fielder's choice to end the game.

The same two teams meet in game two of the six-game series on Wednesday evening at 6:07 p.m. The Saints send RHP Randy Dobnak (1-0, 2.35) to the mound against I-Cubs LHP Thomas Pannone (1-0, 0.00). The game can be seen on the Saints Broadcast Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, MLB.TV, MiLB.TV, and the Bally Live app, and heard on KFAN Plus. 96.7 FM.

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