Spencer Steer went 2 for 4 with a three-run home run, and Caleb Hamilton added a three-run home of his own as the Saints rode a six-run seventh inning to a 7-1 victory over the Buffalo Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon at Sahlen Field.
Dereck Rodríguez (5-1) pitched four scoreless innings for the victory, surrendering just one hit and a walk while striking out three as the Saints beat the International League East-leading Blue Jays for the first time in this six-game series.
In the previous two games, the Saints blew leads in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.
Roy Morales hit a run-scoring single to give the Saints a 1-0 lead in the third inning before the Blue Jays tied it in the fourth. In the seventh inning, Michael Helman and Braden Bishop walked ahead of Steer’s 10th homer of the season for a 4-0 lead.
After a mound visit, pitcher Bowden Francis (4-5) remained in the game and got Jake Cave on a lineout before Jermaine Palacios singled and Francis hit Morales with a pitch. He was replaced by Derek Holland, who allowed Hamilton’s home run on a 3-2 pitch for a 7-1 lead.
Austin Schulfer pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two for the Saints. The teams resume their series on Friday at 6:05 p.m.
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