ST. PAUL, MN (September 24, 2023) - No matter how you measure it, the 2023 St. Paul Saints season was a huge success. They finished with the third best record in the International League at 84-64, they set numerous franchise records, and even equaled a grand slam mark that only
_ST. PAUL, MN _*(September 24, 2023) - *No matter how you measure it, the 2023 St. Paul Saints season was a huge success. They finished with the third best record in the International League at 84-64, they set numerous franchise records, and even equaled a grand slam mark that only three other teams achieved in all of baseball since 1901. Despite ending the season with a 3-2 loss to the Toledo Mud Hens on Sunday afternoon at CHS Field in front of 6,003, the season will be remembered as the most successful in their first three years as the Minnesota Twins Triple-A affiliate.
The Mud Hens struck first in the second inning as the first three hitters reached. Nick Maton led off with a walk, moved to second on an infield single to short by Justice Bigbie, and scored on a single to left-center from Ryan Kreidler making it 1-0.
A long ball increased the lead for the Mud Hens in the third. With one out Colt Keith doubled to right-center and that was followed by a two-run homer to left from Eddys Leonard, his eighth of the season, increasing the lead to 3-0.
The Saints got a long ball of their own to get on the board in the fifth. After not collecting a hit through the first four innings, Michael Helman led off the fifth with an infield single to short. With one out Jair Camargo smashed a two-run homer to center, his 21st of the season, getting the Saints to within 3-2. The home run tied his teammate Chris Williams for most home runs in single-season franchise history.
Byron Buxton nearly sent the fans into a tizzy in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and nobody on, he sent a fly ball to deep left, but with his back up against the wall Nick Maton made the catch to end the game. Buxton went 0-4 in his final Major League rehab game.
The other two Major League rehabbers, Nick Gordon and Joey Gallo, went 0-2 with a walk and 0-3, respectively.
The bullpen for the Saints did an incredible job tossing 5.0 scoreless innings allowing one run while striking out four as Brent Headrick tossed 2.0 scoreless allowing one hit while walking two and striking out two. Ronny Henriquez tossed a hitless, scoreless inning while striking out one, Hunter McMahon pitched a perfect inning of relief, and Cole Sands tossed a perfect inning of relief with one strikeout.