ST. PAUL, MN (September 22, 2023) - No team has hit more grand slams in the modern stats era, dating back to 2005, than the St. Paul Saints. They used a seven-run second inning, including their 14th grand slam of the season, to take down the Toledo Mud Hens on
_ST. PAUL, MN _*(September 22, 2023) - *No team has hit more grand slams in the modern stats era, dating back to 2005, than the St. Paul Saints. They used a seven-run second inning, including their 14th grand slam of the season, to take down the Toledo Mud Hens on Friday night at CHS Field 10-6 in front of 7,517. The win improves the Saints to 41-32 in the second half.
The Mud Hens grabbed the lead in the second courtesy of the long ball. Nick Maton led off the inning with a hit by pitch, Justice Bigbie singled, and Ryan Kreidler delivered a three-run homer to right, his 11th of the season, making it 3-0.
The Saints responded in a big way in the bottom of the inning. With one out Hernán Pérez singled to center and that was followed by a two-run homer to left from Anthony Prato, his first of the night and ninth of the season, cutting the deficit to 3-2. The next three hitters loaded the bases as DaShawn Keirsey Jr. singled to left, Chris Williams singled to left, and Tony Wolters was hit by a pitch. Austin Martin tied the game with a sacrifice fly to deep left, making to 3-3. After a walk to Nick Gordon reloaded the bases, Michael Helman put the Saints in the history books. He clubbed a grand slam to straightaway center, his sixth home run of the season, third career grand slam, and second grand slam of the year, giving the Saints a 7-3 lead. Helman finished the night 2-3 with a grand slam, four RBI, and two runs scored. The grand slam was the 14th of the season for the Saints, tying a modern stats era (Minor League stats only go back as far as 2005) record with the Cleveland Indians (2006) and Albuquerque Isotopes (2022).
In the third, Prato came calling again leading off the inning with a solo homer to right-center, his second of the night and 10th of the season, increasing the lead to 8-3. It was his first career two home run game of his career. Prato finished the night 2-3 with two home runs, three RBI, and two runs scored.
The home run parade continued in the fourth as the Saints got their fourth home run of the night. With two outs Helman singled to left and Yunior Severino followed with a two-run homer to right, his 11th with the Saints and 35th of the season, giving the Saints a 10-3 lead. The 35 home runs are tied for the most in Minor League Baseball with Shay Whitcomb of the Houston Astros organization.
The Saints pitching was incredible after the three-run second. They didn’t allow a hit from the third inning through the eighth. Major League rehabber Brock Stewart tossed 1.0 hitless, scoreless inning of relief while walking one and striking out two. He threw 19 pitches, nine for strikes. His fastball averaged 96.8 mph and he topped out at 97.6 mph.
Major League rehabber Jorge Alcala worked a perfect fifth and sixth while striking out four. He threw 21 pitches, 18 for strikes. His fastball averaged 97.8 mph and topped out at 98.6 mph.
Austin Schulfer then worked a hitless, scoreless seventh and eighth innings while fanning a pair.
In the ninth, the Mud Hens made it interesting with their second three-run homer of the night. With one out, Eddys Leonard doubled, Nick Maton walked, and Bigbie hit a three-run homer to right, his first of the season, cutting the lead to 10-6. Saints reliever Michael Boyle retired the next two to end the game.
The same two teams meet in game five of a six-game series on Saturday night at CHS Field at 6:37 p.m. The Saints send RHP Patrick Murphy (6-3, 3.54) to the mound against Mud Hens LHP Sean Guenther (2-1, 5.04). The game can be seen on the Saints Broadcast Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities area, the Bally Live app (free), and MiLB.TV (subscription), and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.