Saints Walked-off for the Third Time this Year in 6-5 Loss

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 St. Paul Saints

Saints Walked-off for the Third Time this Year in 6-5 Loss

July 10, 2024 - International League (IL)
St. Paul Saints News Release

LOUISVILLE, KY - The St. Paul Saints clubbed four home runs on Wednesday and had the Louisville Bats down to their final strike in the ninth, but Michael Truatwein hit a walk-off home run to beat the Saints 6-5 in front of a crowd of 4,582 at Louisville Slugger Field.

A night after they were held to three hits, the Saints wasted no time getting on the board on Wednesday. After the first out of the game, Yunior Severino ripped his 16th home run of the season over the right field wall, giving the Saints a 1-0 lead.

Scott Blewett started the bullpen game, walking three and striking three out over his 1.2 innings. Blewett did not allow a runner to reach third base.

Maddux Houghton collected his first Triple-A hit to begin the third inning, hitting a ground ball into center field. Edouard Julien followed him with a walk. Yunior Severino then hit a ground ball to the right of second base, pulling the shortstop Soto over with the only play to make at first, pushing runners to second and third. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. drove in the Saints' second run on a ground ball to first base, allowing Houghton to score, giving the Saints a 2-0 lead.

Nick Wittgren took over for Scott Blewett in the second inning, retiring the first six batters he faced into the fourth inning. After the two outs were recorded in the fourth, Livan Soto pushed a bunt down the third base line. Wittgren's throw to first got past Severino, allowing Soto to advance to second. Former Saint Hérnan Pérez then reached on a dropped third strike that got away from Patrick Winkel to the backstop. Wittgren then got Erick Gonzalez to hit a soft fly ball to right field that Houghton would bring in on a dive to end the inning.

Zach Weiss made his Saints' debut on Major League Rehab in the fifth inning. He struck out three in the fifth, allowing a runner to reach on an error when a ground ball went off Payton Eele's glove. Tony Kemp followed by slapping a ball through the hole on the left side. Weiss then struck out three in a row into the sixth inning. Weiss struck out four over his two innings of work.

In the sixth inning, Payton Eeles made up for his error by clubbing his first Triple-A home run to straightaway center field, making it a 3-0 ballgame.

Edouard Julien homered for the second straight game in the seventh inning, blasting his fifth home run of the season to right field giving the Saints their largest lead of the game in the seventh inning.

Josh Winder entered the ballgame in the seventh inning, allowing the first three batters to reach on a pair of singles to Gonzalez and Jacob Hurtubise and a walk to Levi Jordan. Kemp then hit a ground ball to short to plate Gonzalez, getting the Bats their first run of the game. PJ Higgins singled to score Hurtubise, halving the Saints' 4-0 lead. Connor Capel then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Jordan, making it a one-run game at 4-3. In the eighth inning, Chris Williams homered on a line drive over the left field wall, hitting his 10th home run of the season and his seventh in 10 career games at Louisville Slugger Field. It would be the fourth home run of the game for the Saints, tied for the second most the club has hit this season. Eeles was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat, the fourth time he had been plunked in six games with the Saints. Bats catcher Michael Trautwein attempted to throw back to first but threw the ball into right field, advancing Eeles to third base. Anthony Prato then hit a ball to third and Eeles was thrown out at home on the fielder's choice.

Matt Bowman came on in the eighth inning, issuing a walk to Soto and a single to Pérez that would push Soto up to third base. Gonzalez then hit a ground ball to second base as the Saints tried to turn the double play, but only got one out at second base, allowing Soto to score, once again making it a one-run game at 5-4.

In the ninth, Julien clubbed a double off the top of the right-center wall to collect his third hit of the night, tying his season-high from June 20.

The Saints turned to Diego Castillo in the ninth inning. Castillo had converted on six of his previous seven save opportunities with the Saints. He sat down Kemp on a fly ball to right and stuck out Higgins looking. Capel stepped to the plate with two outs and worked a full count before drawing a walk. Then, on a 1-0 pitch, Trautwein launched a ball over the wall in right field to walk off the Saints 6-5. It's the third time the Saints have been walked off this season and the first since April 17 at Indianapolis. It's the first time a Saints opponent has hit a walk-off home run since April 29, 2023 at Rochester, when Kevin Plawecki hit a walk-off blast for the Rochester Red Wings.

The Saints and Bats will meet in game three of the six-game series on Thursday evening at 5:35 CT at Louisville Slugger Field. The Saints will send RHP Louie Varland (3-7, 6.57) to the mound against Bats LHP Justus Sheffield (0-1, 13.50). The game can be heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.

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