Saints win on Telis’ walk-off single in 10th

Through the good times and the bad, Saints manager Toby Gardenhire has always maintained that the Saints are a good ballclub.

One of the signs of a good team is being able to win when not having its best day, and the Saints pulled that off on Sunday at CHS Field, beating the Columbus Clippers, 7-6 in 10 innings.

The Saints overcame a four-run deficit and four errors to pick up their fifth win in the six-game series when Tomas Telis delivered the game-winning single in the 10th.

“That was a rough game for us,” Gardenhire said. “We didn’t play well at all. Our defense was as bad as it’s been all year. Our pitchers battled, but that’s tough to do when you’re giving away outs.

“So I’m proud of the guys in how they kept rolling and got the win.”

Telis, who made a rare start at first base, committed one of the four errors. And he was 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts before his game-winning hit.

“It was a tough day for me,” Telis said. “There were a couple plays I could have made. And I struck out twice. But they gave me the opportunity again and I finished the game.”

The hit extended Telis’ hitting streak to 13 games.

“That guy can hit; he’s always been able to hit,” Gardenhire said. “He’s a guy you want up there in that situation. You know he’s going to give you a barrel (of the bat) most of the time.”
Willians Austidillo hit a home run for the Saints, but he also had some adventures playing third base. He looked out of place there on Sunday, but Gardenhire said he is capable of playing the position.

“Austidillo plays third a lot up in the big leagues,” Gardenhire said, “so that’s a situation where we have to keep getting him out there, and make sure he is ready for whatever they need him for up there. “He had a pretty tough day over there at third, but he’s also had some pretty good games over there.”

For a while, it looked as though the day was going to belong to Columbus center fielder and local product Alex Call. The 26-year-old Call, who is originally from Burnsville but attended high school in River Falls, led off the game with a home run before adding a two-run shot in the third.

His RBI single in the fourth gave the Clippers a 4-0 lead. All three hits came against Saints starter Andrew Albers.

Brad Peacock started for the Clippers and shut out the Saints in his three innings of work.

Peacock pitched in relief in the first game of the series and gave up nine runs in two-thirds of an inning.

The Saints scored two runs in the sixth inning on back-to-back home runs by Astudillo and Jimmy Kerrigan to cut their deficit to 4-2. The Clippers countered with two runs in the eighth.

But the Saints rallied in the bottom of inning to eventually send the game into extra innings.

They loaded the bases with no outs and scored on a wild pitch to make it a 6-3 game.

A groundout by JT Riddle scored another run before Keon Broxton’s two-out RBI single to center made it a 6-5 game.

Broxton then stole second and came in on pinch-hitter Sherman Johnson’s single to center.

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