ST. PAUL, MN (September 20, 2023) - Brent Rooker set the bar in the first season the St. Paul Saints were the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins when he hit 20 homers in 2021. Chris Williams equaled that mark on August 31. He needed to wait awhile to set
_ST. PAUL, MN _*(September 20, 2023) - *Brent Rooker set the bar in the first season the St. Paul Saints were the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins when he hit 20 homers in 2021. Chris Williams equaled that mark on August 31. He needed to wait awhile to set the new mark, but he finally got it on Wednesday night at CHS Field as his three-run homer proved to be the difference in a 6-3 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens in front of 5,554.
The Mud Hens grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when Nick Solak led off with a walk, moved to second on a single by Justyn-Henry Malloy, took third on a groundout, and scored on a groundout from Eddys Leonard.
The Saints answered back in the bottom of the inning when Austin Martin led off the inning with a double to center and he scored on a one out double to left-center by Brooks Lee tying the game at one.
In the third, the Mud Hens regained the lead. Back-to-back singles to start the inning by Michael Papierski and Solak put runners at the corners. With one out, Colt Keith’s RBI double put the Mud Hens up 2-1. Leonard’s sacrifice fly increased the lead to 3-1. Saints starter Simeon Woods Richardson finished off his 2023 campaign going 5.2 innings allowing three runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out four.
After back-to-back walks to start the fourth inning by Gilberto Celestino and Anthony Prato, Williams delivered a three-run homer to left, his 21st of the season, giving the Saints a 4-3 lead. The 21st home run set a single-season franchise record surpassing Rooker (2021) and Jair Camargo (2023). With two outs, Lee clobbered a solo homer to right, his fifth at Triple-A, increasing the lead to 5-3. Lee finished the night 2-3 with a double, home run, two RBI, and two runs scored.
The Saints added an insurance run in the seventh. Lee led off with a walk and Yunior Severino was hit by a pitch. After a groundout moved the runners up, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. singled into right field scoring a run giving the Saints a 6-3 lead.
Cole Sands earned his fourth save of the season by pitching 2.0 shutout innings allowing one hit and striking out two.
Nick Gordon, in his fourth Major League rehab game, went 0-5.
The same two teams meet in game three of a six-game series on Thursday night at CHS Field at 6:37 p.m. The Saints send RHP Randy Dobnak (5-9, 5.31) to the mound and the Mud Hens are TBA. The game can be seen on the Saints Broadcast Network, cable access channels in and around the Twin Cities, the Bally Live app (free), and MiLB.TV (subscription), and heard on KFAN Plus, 96.7 FM.