St. Paul Saints 4, Toledo Mud Hens 2 (box)
Jack O’Loughlin got roughed up a bit in this one, but he didn’t get much help either. A bullpen day for the Saints had veteran MLB starter Chris Paddack in for three innings, and the Mud Hens lineup couldn’t get anything going against an effectively wild group of relievers despite drawing seven walks on the night.
The Hens threatened right out of the gate, as Nick Solak started the game with a single, and Colt Keith drew a walk. Justyn-Henry Malloy had the night off, so it was Eddys Leonard up next and he grounded into a force of Keith at second. Then Nick Maton drew a walk to load the bases. A hard ground ball from Ryan Kreidler was converted into a double play that ended the inning, and the SeaWolves never mustered much of a threat until the ninth inning.
O’Loughlin gave up a two-run homer to Jair Camargo in the second inning. He then settled in for a few innings against an experienced Twins-lite lineup that included Joey Gallo and Trevor Larnach, but in the fifth he ran into more trouble.
A leadoff single and then a pitch that hit Nick Gordon put O’Loughlin in a tight spot to start the bottom of the fifth. Joey Gallo pulled an RBI single through the right side of the infield, and Larnach followed with a lined single to center that scored Gordon before O’Loughlin got a pop-out and a flyout to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth, Maton and then Kreidler drew walks to start the inning. Justice Bigbie lined out to Saints second baseman Austin Martin, who easily doubled off Maton leaning off second base. That was highly unfortunate, as Dillon Dingler was up next and he kept hope alive by drilling a two-run shot to right field. 4-2 Saints. That was Dingler’s 16th homer on the year, and third for the Mud Hens. However, Alvaro Gonzalez struck out, and that was the ballgame.
Dingler: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR, BB
Solak: 2-3, BB
Keith: 1-3, BB
O’Loughlin (L, 3-7): 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, K
Coming Up Next: No Mud Hens starter is announced for Wednesday’s 7:37 p.m. ET start in St. Paul. RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (6-6, 4.92 ERA) goes for the Saints.
Erie SeaWolves 5, Richmond Flying Squirrels 0 (box)
Brant Hurter put together a big-time outing and the offense got contributions throughout the lineup as they went on the road and took Game 1 of their Eastern League playoff series.
After a quick first inning with a pair of strikeouts, the big left-hander got into a little trouble in the second inning as the Squirrels led off with a pair of groundball singles up the middle. A flyout and a double play took care of the threat, and there wouldn’t another as Hurter set down 14 hitters in order. He racked up six strikeouts in total, and was in total control of this game, giving up just those two singles on the day, with no walks allowed either.
Tonight's starter Brant Hurter finished his season on a high note. He turned in four straight starts without an earned run to finish the year and finished:— Sam Lebowitz (@SamLebo14) September 19, 2023
•1st in EL in ERA (3.28)
•1st in Opp. OPS (.655)
•3rd in WHIP (1.19)
•5th in Ks (133)
•8th in innings (118 IP) pic.twitter.com/vHcMKfyLbK
The SeaWolves offense wasn’t doing a whole lot either, until the fourth inning.
Jace Jung drew a one-out walk and Chris Meyers reached on an error. Jake Holton knifed a single to right field, scoring Jung from third. Ben Malgeri spanked a single back up the middle for a single to score Meyers, and then Holton as well as Richmond’s center fielder threw the ball away. Malgeri took third on the play, and it was 3-0 Erie. Daniel Cabrera walked, and Gage Workman also smacked a grounder back through the box for a single, plating Malgeri.
Lefty Andrew Magno took over in the seventh, and he got a little help from Ben Malgeri in that inning as he set Richmond down in order. He came back out in the eighth and did it again, but not before Erie scored one more in the top of the eighth. A Jace Jung single to center field with one out was followed by a triple to the wall off the bat of Chris Meyers. With
Ben Malgeri with an awesome Superman catch! pic.twitter.com/sahL9LhVt3— Tigers ML Report (@tigersMLreport) September 20, 2023
Chris Meyers with a triple to extend the leave to 5-0! pic.twitter.com/Un9JKE8XNy— Tigers ML Report (@tigersMLreport) September 20, 2023
Jung: 1-3, 2 R, BB, K
Meyers: 1-4, R, RBI, 3B
Workman: 2-4, RBI, K
Hurter (W, 1-0): 6.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K
Coming Up Next: RHP Ty Madden will take on a tough opponent in RHP Hayden Birdsong as Erie looks to take the series at home on Thursday night. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. ET. If a Game 3 is required, Wilmer Flores should be on schedule to make that start, with Jackson Jobe liking waiting for an opportunity in the championship round should they advance.