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Saints spoil Star Wars Night for Bisons

By: Brayden Peters

BUFFALO, N.Y. --- The force wasn't with Buffalo on Saturday evening, as they were shutout by the St. Paul Saints 7-0 on Star Wars Night. The Saints' offense got hot early, with a special thanks to DeShawn Keirsey Jr.

He ended the day with two runs, two hits, four RBIs, a home run and was struck out twice. St. Paul's pitching had a day as well, as starting pitcher David Festa finished with eight strikeouts while surrendering one walk and a hit in five innings pitched.

"Their pitcher dealt, he did a good job," Bisons manager Casey Candaele said. "They have a really good staff. I mean, they've pitched well the whole series and I think they've pitched well all year pretty much. The starter was very, very good tonight."

The Saints drew first blood in the first inning, as they recorded two runs. Keirsey got Royce Lewis home on a single. Then, Keirsey got across the plate after an error from Addison Barger. Barger tried to get Yunior Severino out at first base, but Barger's throw was off target, allowing Keirsey to get the Saints' second run.

Barger tries to gun down a runner heading towards second base on May 25, 2024. Photo Credit: Buffalo Bisons Baseball

St. Paul continued to bring the punishment on offense in the second inning. After Will Holland and Austin Martin singled to get on base, Keirsey homered to increase the Saints lead to 5-0.

Buffalo was kept in check by Festa. He struck out seven straight batters between the first and third inning. He also didn't allow a single hit up until the fourth inning. The hit was a single credited to Nathan Lukes.

"I was just hoping for a hit, a walk, anything to get on base to try and get it going," Lukes said. "Even their pitcher (Festa), he hit a spot and I just got lucky on it."

Chad Green got some time on the pitcher's mound for the Bisons in the sixth inning. The Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher is in Buffalo after being placed on ML Injury Rehab on Sunday. This was his third game with the Bisons this season. Although his performance was nothing to write home about, he kept St. Paul's offense at bay, only giving up one hit in the inning.

Lukes begins to make his way to first base on May 25, 2024. Photo Credit: Buffalo Bisons Baseball

"I mean, he did great," Candaele said. "He's always around the zone...he has done it in the big leagues for a long time and you know, he's going to be back there soon. He always comes out and he goes after hitters, and he throws the ball in the strike zone..."

Although the Saints went quiet on offense from the third to the seventh inning, they picked up from where they left off in the eighth. After a double from Chris Williams, Holland homered to send him home, making it a 7-0 game in favor of the Saints.

Buffalo continued to struggle the rest of the way on offense, even after Festa was relieved from duty. Pitchers Jordan Balazovic and Ryan Jensen both recorded two strikeouts each to help seal the shutout victory. The Bisons ended the day with only three hits to St. Paul's 13.

With the win, the Saints take the series with a 4-1 record. They also improve to 21-26 and are still eighth in the IL West. As for Buffalo, they fall to 26-24 and drop to fourth in the IL East.

The Bisons will look to break their two-game losing streak when they host St. Paul tomorrow, Sunday May 26, at 1:05 p.m. It will be the final game of the series and Buffalo will be debuting their new Luces de Buffalo uniforms that day.

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I felt like I was at the game with this article.

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