Mud Hens, Saints split Twin Cities twin bill

Toledo Mud Hens

ST. PAUL, MN.: Boosted by the return of Kody Clemens from the Tigers, the Toledo Mud Hens combined for 14 runs in a double header split with the St. Paul Saints on Wednesday evening at CHS Field, falling in the conclusion of Tuesday’s suspended game, 11-6, before bouncing back to

ST. PAUL, MN.: Boosted by the return of Kody Clemens from the Tigers, the Toledo Mud Hens combined for 14 runs in a double header split with the St. Paul Saints on Wednesday evening at CHS Field, falling in the conclusion of Tuesday’s suspended game, 11-6, before bouncing back to take game two, 8-2.

Game 1: The first game of the eventual twin bill got off to a fast start. Michael Helman blasted a lead-off homer, his first of two for the game, off Michael Mariot to open the scoring. After the rehabbing Miguel Sano walked and Tim Beckham singled, Mark Contreras doubled in Sano to bump St. Paul’s early lead to 2-0.

Toledo sent nine to the plate in a busy second inning, taking its first lead by a count of 3-2. Josh Lester smoked his 15th homer of the season to start things off. Daz Cameron and Jamie Westbrook each notched doubles in the inning, with Cameron coming home on Westbrook’s two-base hit to tie the game. Clemens added an RBI knock in the frame as well.

The Saints response came in the form of a two-run double from Sano to push them back in front 4-3. He was the last one to come to the dish before the game was postponed for the evening due to rain.

The offensive slugfest carried over to Wednesday. Lester cranked a double to begin the third. He would score on a Kerry Carpenter double two batters later to even the game at 4.

Derek Hill rounded all the bases for Toledo on a fourth inning triple and a subsequent throwing error from Saints shortstop Jermaine Palacios for a 5-4 edge.

Jake Cave gave St. Paul the lead back for good at 6-5 with a two-run bomb in the home half of the fourth opposite Nivaldo Rodriguez.

Caleb Hamilton and Helman each slammed two-run shots to blow the game open in the fifth and bump the Saints lead to 10-5.

Rodriguez (3-7) accepted the setback for the Mud Hens, surrendering five hits and six runs before being ejected in the fifth stanza.

The second of two run-producing doubles off the bat of Contreras came in the eighth. He went 3-5 at the dish in game one, joining Beckham who also had three hits.

Clemens clobbered his first homer since returning from Detroit in the top of the ninth. That long ball was his ninth of the season and it assured a multi-hit effort of 2-5 at the dish.

Lester and Cameron each picked up multi-hit efforts by going 2-5 and 2-4, respectively.

Tyler Viza (3-0) registered the win for St. Paul, permitting three hits and two earned runs over six outs. Starter Cole Sands was roughed up in the Tuesday portion of the suspended game, giving up four hits, three earned runs, two walks, and mixing in four strikeouts over two innings.

Game 2: Starter Shea Spitzbarth set a different tone for the second game of the twin bill, firing a season-high three scoreless innings, working around a walk, a hit, and racking up three punchouts while not factoring in the decision.

The Mud Hens provided some run support for Spitzbarth by stringing together three straight hits to begin the third. Chris Rabago and Cameron singled ahead of Clemens, who slammed his second homer of the day over the right center field fence, his tenth of the year, for a 3-0 lead.

St. Paul tightened things up in the bottom of the fourth when Hamilton cranked a two-run double, plating Contreras and Palacios, to trim the margin to 3-2.

Toledo blew the game open with a five-run frame in the top of the sixth. Two walks and a single loaded the sacks in front of Jack Lopez, who laced a 3-2 pitch from Tyler Thornburg into the left center field gap, scoring Westbrook, John Valente, and Jacob Robson to balloon the lead to 6-2. Rabago followed Lopez by immediately crushing his first Triple-A dinger of the season to cap off a perfect 3-3 game at the dish and make it 8-2 Mud Hens.

The three-hit game was the first multi-hit effort of the year for Rabago in a Toledo uniform.

Angel De Jesus (1-0) picked up the win despite yielding two runs and retiring just two batters. Luis Castillo scattered three hits in a scoreless stanza. Miguel Diaz put up all zeros in his inning on the hill. Derek Law fanned two Saints hitters over the final four outs.

St. Paul starter Ronny Henriquez (1-4) took the loss, permitting seven hits, three runs, two walks, and mixing in four strikeouts.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: After Clemens went without a hit in his last three assignments prior to receiving his call-up to Detroit at the end of May, Kody went 4-8 in the double header with two homers, five RBIs, a walk, and two runs scored. Westbrook didn’t record a knock through his previous five games prior to Wednesday’s twin bill. He combined to go 3-7 with a double, an RBI, and he crossed home plate twice. Cameron also hit safely in both contests against the Saints, slashing 3-7 with a double and a pair of runs.

NEXT UP: The Mud Hens and Saints will play game three of the set on Thursday evening at CHS Field. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. EST.

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