LOUISVILLE, KY. – No-hit for 6⅔ innings Monday night, the Saints used a long ball to tie the score, then some small ball to score the go-ahead run.
Caleb Hamilton hit a 423-foot home run for the Saints' first hit in the seventh inning, and John Andreoli stole third and scored on an error in a three-run eighth as the Saints opened their six-game series at Louisville with a 4-1 victory.
The Saints did nothing for most of the night against lefthander Justin Nicolino, who briefly pitched in the Twins organization in 2019. After not pitching in organized ball in 2021, he signed a minor league deal with Cincinnati at the end of May and entered Monday 1-3 with an 8.37 ERA in six starts for the Bats.
But he took a no-hitter into he seventh inning Monday, with the only baserunner coming on a second-inning walk. However, with two out in the seventh, Hamilton broke up the no-hitter and tied the score all in one swing, driving a shot down the left-field line that stayed fair to make it 1-1, his ninth home run of the season.
Andreoli, acquired last month from Philadelphia, singled off Ricky Karchner to lead off the eighth inning and went to second when Elliot Soto walked. The two executed a double steal as Braden Bishop struck out, with Soto coming home on catcher Chris Okey's throwing error that also put Soto on third.
Spencer Steer walked to fill first base, and after Mark Contreras struck out, Soto scored on a wild pitch before Michael Helman delivered an RBI single to make it 4-1.
Dereck Rodriguez started for the Saints and pitched four innings, giving up the Bats' lone run on Colin Moran's homer leading off the second inning. Five relievers pitched a shutout inning each from there — each one giving up exactly one hit. Evan Sisk earned the victory and Yennier Cano the save.