Louisville Bats down St. Paul Saints 6-2

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Alfredo Rodriguez singled home two runs to break up a shutout and tie the game and Dwight Smith Jr. followed with the game-winning double as the Louisville Bats mounted a two-out six-run rally in the bottom of the eighth to down the St. Paul Saints 6-2 Wednesday night at Louisville Slugger Field.

The win gives Louisville the first official victory of the inaugural series between the two teams and snaps St. Paul’s winning streak at seven straight games.

The rally was started when Lopez was promoted from Chattanooga just before Wednesday’s game and wasn’t even in the ballpark and in uniform until just before his pinch-hit appearance in the eighth inning.

Lopez was assigned a jersey number only minutes before entering the game, and he went straight to the plate and singled on the first pitch he saw at the Triple-A level.

He has now reached base in ALL 26 games this season, including 25 with Double-A Chattanooga and reaching on his first pitch at the Triple-A level with the Bats.

Rodriguez followed, singling home TJ Friedl and Lopez to tie the game 2-2, and Smith Jr. doubled in Errol Robinson for the winning run. Brantley Bell continued the two-out rally with a two-run double and Narciso Crook snapped his hitless streak with an RBI two-bagger of his own to increase the Bats’ cushion to 6-2.

Louisville’s bullpen held tight up to and through the late rally with Jose De Leon (0.2ip), Brandon Finnegan (1.1ip), R.J. Alaniz (1.1ip), and Art Warren (1.0ip) blanking St. Paul over 4.1 innings.

Cincinnati Reds rehabbing All-Star Joey Votto went 0-for-3 as the designated hitter.

Louisville and St. Paul continue their series with a doubleheader on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Louisville Slugger Field. RHP Bo Takahashi will get the ball in game one of the twin-bill against RHP Jhoan Duran (0-0, 1.29).

Wednesday night’s comeback in the eighth inning was started by infielder Alejo Lopez.