Byron Buxton played in center field for the first time for the St. Paul Saints at CHS Field on Thursday night.
But it was what his bat did that impressed the most. Buxton, on a rehab assignment in Class AAA from the Twins for a hip injury, hit a two-run homer to right field in the first inning against Omaha. He hit another two-run homer to center field in the second. And hit a 400-foot sacrifice fly to center in the fourth.
So two homers and five RBI for Buxton before he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, but the Saints still were routed 16-9 by the Storm Chasers.
Ryan O'Hearn hit two homers for the second consecutive night for Omaha and had six RBI. O'Hearn, a 27-year-old first baseman, has played in 20 games with the Kansas City Royals this season. He hit .189 in the major leagues with three homers and six RBI.
Omaha hit four homers in all. The Saints hit five: Keon Braxton had a two-run shot in the second inning and, in later innings, Brent Rooker and Drew Maggi hit solo homers. Rooker has a team-high eight homers and is tied for second on the team in RBI with 15.
This was the second game for Buxton this week with the Saints. He was a DH and had a triple on Tuesday. He was supposed to play in center field on Wednesday but was a late scratch because of a wet field.