PAPILLION, NEB. – The St.Paul Saints soon will play their first home game as the Twins' Class AAA affiliate. Hopefully by then, they will have enough healthy players to form a bench.
The Saints closed out their season-opening series with the Omaha Storm Chasers by splitting two games Sunday, making it through to the end despite being down so many players that they had to bat their pitcher twice.
After the Saints won the completion of Saturday's suspended game 8-2, the Storm Chasers beat the undermanned Saints 6-1 in the regularly scheduled game, which was shortened to seven innings. The Saints went 2-4 in the six-game series.
The Saints were down to eight available position players in Sunday's second game when third baseman Drew Maggi left after the first inning. That forced Tomas Telis, normally a catcher, to move from second base, where he was playing for the second time in more than 1,100 games, to third, where he was playing for the fifth time.
Outfielder Keon Broxton went to second base for the first time in more than 1,400 professional games. Ryan Jeffers went from designated hitter to first base, and pitcher Andrew Albers had to hit in Maggi's spot. Albers singled in the third inning, but Brent Rooker was thrown out trying to score from second on the play.
Saturday night's game was suspended in the top of the fifth inning because of a thunderstorm and played to its conclusion Sunday. Six Saints pitchers combined on a five-hitter, and Shaun Anderson pitched two shutout innings with three strikeouts to earn the victory.
Robert Pena hit a two-run homer Saturday, and the Saints broke it open with a six-run fourth inning before the rain came.
The Saints will open their first homestand as a Twins farm team on Tuesday against the Iowa Cubs. They will play six games vs. Iowa and six vs. Indianapolis at CHS Field.