Bats rally past Saints 3-2 in 10 innings

The St. Paul Saints were one strike away from victory Sunday afternoon, then disaster struck and they lost 3-2 in 10 innings to the Louisville Bats at Louisville Slugger Field.

The loss dropped the Saints to 36-27 in the second half of the season in the International League.

With the Saints leading 2-1 in the ninth, relief pitcher Cole Sands, who came on with two on and two outs in the eighth and recorded the final out of the inning, retired the first batter of the inning. The Bats’ Jacob Hurtubise walked, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout. On a 1-2 pitch, Jason Vosler hit a double just over the outstretched arm of Saints center fielder Michael Helman that scored Hurtubise to tie the score and send the game into extra innings.

The Saints failed to score in the top of the 10th. In the bottom of the inning, with Louisville’s Henry Ramos the placed runner at second and one out, Jhonny Pereda singled to center, moving Ramos to third as Pereda took second on the throw home. On the first pitch to Jose Barrero, he hit one off the end of the bat that went in between St. Paul first baseman Yunior Severino and the first-base bag into right field for a single that scored the winning run.

Prior to that, runs were tough to come by, and the Saints’ pitching was exceptional.

Brooks Lee started the Saints’ scoring in the first inning with a 411-foot solo home run to right, his fourth homer with the Saints, making it 1-0.

Pereda tied the score for the Bats with a solo homer to left-center in the second, his sixth of the season.

In the fourth, Severino launched his eighth home run with the Saints and 32nd of the season, a solo blast to right-center that put St. Paul up 2-1.

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