Miranda’s career night leads Saints romp

Reinforcements have arrived. Called up to a team that hasn’t hit very well or thrown very well this season, a pair of Twins prospects, pitcher Josh Winder and infielder Jose Miranda, joined the Saints on Tuesday at CHS Field and suddenly all seems right in the world. Miranda got the first chance to shine, and […]

Miranda’s career night leads Saints romp

Reinforcements have arrived.

Called up to a team that hasn’t hit very well or thrown very well this season, a pair of Twins prospects, pitcher Josh Winder and infielder Jose Miranda, joined the Saints on Tuesday at CHS Field and suddenly all seems right in the world.

Miranda got the first chance to shine, and he maximized it.

After tearing it up at Double-A Wichita this season, batting .345 with 13 home runs and 38 RBI, he went 5 for 6 with three home runs, including a grand slam, on his 23rd birthday as the Saints thumped the Omaha Storm Chasers, 15-4.

“Having a birthday like this is something you dream about,” Miranda said, “and it happened. It’s great because I had my family here (his fiancee and baby daughter).

The teams wore replica Negro League jerseys for Larry Doby Night, honoring the first African-American to play in the American League. A few more games like Tuesday’s from the Saints’ new third baseman and a Jose Miranda Night won’t be far behind.

“I’ve had Jose for a few years,” Saints manager Toby Gardenhire said, “so I have seen him hit a lot. But I can tell you he’s improved a lot. I knew he could hit the first time I saw him.

His approach has come a long way, and when he gets pitches to hit he’s not missing them.”

Miranda said it was easily the best game of his young professional career. “And my best birthday ever,” he said.

Miranda said the Twins have told him that he will not be going back to Wichita.

“And if I keep doing well, it’s just a small jump (across town to the Twins.”

Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Winder, who was leading the International League in ERA (1.98) and strikeouts (65), should offer a boost to a starting rotation that has been patched together for most of the season.

According to Gardenhire, Winder likely will get a start on Friday.

The Saints (22-26) hit seven home runs and collected 18 hits against the team with the best record in the Midwest Division (32-16).

The Saints scored four runs in the first inning. Following a leadoff homer by Miranda, Damek omscha hit a three-run home run. It was his first of two homers on the night.

The Saints sent 10 batters to the plate in the third and scored four runs on Miranda’s grand slam to increase their lead to 9-2.

They hit three home runs in the fifth—Miranda, Brent Rooker and Mark Contreras.

Another Twins prospect, hard-throwing right-hander Yennier Cano made his first start for the Saints. He signed with the Twins in 2019 as the No. 2 international prospect in baseball, and began this season at Wichita, where he was 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA before being called up to the Saints on June 15.

Cano pitched two innings, giving up a run on four hits. While he hit 100 miles per hour on his fastball while pitching in relief earlier this month, he was in the high 90s on Tuesday.