WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (35-27) lost 7-5 in 10 innings to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Shaw Park on Thursday night.
Tied at 5-5 in the top of the 10th inning, KD Kang hit a two-out, two-run home run to left-centre field.
With the RedHawks having used all five of their listed relief pitchers, Sunday’s scheduled starter Will Solomon took over in the bottom of the 10th and worked a perfect inning to earn his second save of the year.
The Goldeyes forced extra innings with an exciting rally in the bottom of the ninth in which they scored three two-out runs. Trailing 5-2 against hard-throwing closer Casey Weathers, Mason Katz ripped a leadoff double off the left field wall. Jordan Ebert walked on five pitches to bring the tying run to the plate. Weathers struck out the next two batters, before Josh Romanski kept the game alive with a line drive single to right-centre that scored Katz. Reggie Abercrombie cut the RedHawks’ lead to 5-4 with a groundball single to left that brought home Ebert. It was Abercrombie’s second RBI of the game, and his 446th all-time in the American Association, passing John Allen (Fort Worth/Laredo 2007-13) for the league’s all-time record. Shawn Pleffner followed with a groundball single to centre that scored Romanski with the tying run.
Weathers (3-2) earned the win in relief for the RedHawks, while Ryan Chaffee (1-3) took the loss for the Goldeyes.
Winnipeg took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Andrew Sohn and David Rohm opened the inning with singles. Two batters later, Abercrombie walked to load the bases with one out. Pleffner hit a sharp groundball to second that bounced off the glove of Brandon Tierney. Tierney recovered to throw out Pleffner at first while Sohn came across with the game’s first run.
The RedHawks took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second when Josh Mazzola hit a two-run home run to left-centre.
Fargo-Moorhead stretched the lead to 3-1 with a two-out, unearned run in the top of the fourth.
Abercrombie hit a two-out, RBI single centre in the bottom of the fifth before Mazzola cracked his second two-run homer of the night in the top of the seventh.
Zack Dodson started for the Goldeyes and took a no-decision, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits over five innings. Dodson walked two and struck out six.
Jose Almarante started for Fargo-Moorhead and also took a no-decision, allowing two earned runs on six hits in six innings. Almarante walked four and struck out five.
Kenny Mathews pitched two perfect innings of relief for Winnipeg. Sohn and Abercrombie each finished with three hits.
Fargo-Moorhead has won nine games in a row. With St. Paul’s loss to Sioux City Thursday night, the Goldeyes lead the Saints by 0.5 games and the RedHawks by 1.0 game in the American Association North Division.
Game two of the four-game series is Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Mikey O’Brien (6-4, 5.86) faces left-hander Tyler Alexander (2-5, 2.98). Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.ticketmaster.ca/goldeyes, or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park.
For information on Winnipeg Goldeyes’ season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com