Torrid Saints drill Indianapolis

Count outfielder Jimmy Kerrigan among the Saints hitters who will be sorry to see the month of July end.

While hitting .237 entering Tuesday’s game at CHS Field, Kerrigan continued his torrid month with three hits, including a pair of home runs, as the Saints clobbered the Indianapolis Indians, 16-1.

“July has been fun for me,” Kerrigan said. “Just trying to simplify things and just have some fun. It’s working, and we’re playing well.”

Kerrigan hit a three-run home run in the first inning, when the Saints sent 11 batters to the plate and scored eight runs. He hit a two-run shot in the second as the Saints scored five more to take a 13-0 lead.

It was Kerrigan’s third three-hit game in July, a month in which he has hit well over .300 and hit for power. He said he has been working extra with hitting coach Matt Borgschulte and infield coach Tyler Smarslok of late and that the results have been gratifying.

“They give me what to work on, I listen to it and ride it out,” Kerrigan said. “I didn’t play at all last year, so it feels good to finally get my timing down; get some consistent at-bats and just compete.”

And the power? He now has 12 home runs this season.

“I’m in the gym a lot,” Kerrigan said. “I just try to work a lot in the gym and then just come out here and trust it.”

The Saints are 15-8 in July after going 10-15 in June, and a dynamic offense has been a primary reason. They have averaged 8.4 runs per game in those 15 wins.

“We were having tough time early in the season,” Saints manager Toby Gardenhire said. “Jose Miranda came up here (from Double-A Wichita on June 26), and he’s done a really good job of getting things started for us (as the leadoff hitter).

“And a lot of the role guys that we have that were having a tough time early have come on. Jimmy Kerrigan had a big night tonight. Keon Broxton has been great for us. Drew Maggi has been killing everything.

“Having guys like that having games like they have been having has been really helpful for us.”

When multiple players get hot at the same time, good things usually happen.

“A lot of times it just takes a spark,” Gardenhire said. “Jose Miranda did that for us, and since we got that spark a lot of guys have run with it.”

Beau Burrows was scheduled to start for the Saints, but he was called up by the Twins on Tuesday. Chandler Shepherd stepped in and held the Indians hitless until the fifth inning. He pitched seven innings, allowing only two hits and no runs.

“Shep was actually going to come out of the bullpen in long relief, so it worked out perfectly,” Gardenhire said. “At times like this, we’re kind of setting it because we know (trades and call-ups) can happen. When things do happen, we are able to have a Plan B.”

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