PAPILLION, NEB. - Three Omaha pitchers combined to allow only six hits and struck out 15, as the host Storm Chasers defeated the St. Paul Saints 8-2 on Tuesday at Werner Park.
The Saints were making their debut as a Twins affiliate in the Midwest Division of the Class AAA East after 28 seasons as an independent minor league team.
The Storm Chasers hit three home runs off Saints starter Andrew Albers.
Edward Olivares hit a three-run run in the second inning to make it 5-0. Ryan McBroom hit a solo home run in the third and Anderson Miller hit a solo homer in the fourth. Albers allowed seven runs and eight hits in four innings.
Trailing 8-0, the Saints scored two runs in the seventh inning.
Travis Blankenhorn, who appeared in one game with the Twins last month, led off with a double. Ryan Jeffers, who hit .147 in 11 games with the Twins before being optioned to the Saints on Thursday, followed with a 447-foot home run to left-center to make it 8-2.
Jeffers and Zander Wiel each had two hits for the Saints, who were outhit 9-6.
J.T. Riddle, who was 2-for-6 in four games with the Twins last month, also had a double for the Saints.
Omaha starter Jackson Kowar, a first-round pick by the Kansas City Royals in 2018, allowed only two hits and struck out nine.
Andrew Vasquez pitched a perfect seventh and eighth inning for the Saints, striking out three. Vasquez, Albers and Glenn Sparkman combined to strike out 14.
On Wednesday, the second-game of the six-game series will feature the Saints' Charlie Barnes against Omaha's Carlos Hernandez.