WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (8-6) fell 8-4 to the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park on Thursday afternoon.
Tied at 2-2 in the top of the eighth inning, the Canaries (7-7) scored five runs. Ethan Chapman led off with a triple down the right field line and scored the go-ahead run one batter later when David Bergin singled to left. After Bergin was erased on Taylor Zeutenhorst’s fielder’s choice, Jerome Pena hit a groundball double down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Cameron Garfield extended the lead with a two-run double, while Frank Martinez capped off the inning with a two-run homer to left-centre.
Pena added an RBI double in the top of the ninth to make it 8-2.
“We’re not disappointed,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “We got a wind-blown home run to get out of the gates, but their pitcher did a good job to settle down and have really good command today. He did a good job of controlling out left-handed hitters. He didn’t make any mistakes. We’re just not doing enough on offence.”
The Goldeyes pushed across two runs in the bottom of the ninth on a Maikol Gonzalez RBI double, and a Josh Romanski RBI groundout. Gonzalez has hit safely in six games in a row. Romanski had a seven-game hitting streak come to an end, but has now driven in at least one run in eight straight contests.
Conor Spink (0-1) took the loss for the Goldeyes, allowing five earned runs in two relief innings. Jimmer Kennedy (2-1) notched the win for the Canaries with a scoreless bottom of the seventh.
The Goldeyes took an early 2-0 lead when Reggie Abercrombie hit a two-run home run to right with two outs in the bottom of the first. It was Abercrombie’s second of the year and his 81st in the American Association. Abercrombie is now six homers back of John Allen for the league’s career record.
Sioux Falls answered back in the top of the second against Goldeyes’ starter Edwin Carl. With the bases loaded and two outs, Cameron Monger dribbled a single up the middle that plated Zeutenhorst and Martinez with the tying runs. Carlton Tanabe helped Carl retire the side, picking off Blake Schmit at first who had just been hit by a pitch. Tanabe used his arm again in the fifth, throwing out Schmit on the back end of a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play. The Goldeyes turned a season-high three double plays on defence.
Carl took a no-decision, allowing two earned runs on five hits in six innings. Carl walked four and struck out two.
“His (Carl’s) arm speed was really good,” said Forney. “I would say the second inning really hurt him, but he gave us what we needed. I thought he did a good job. We’re defending the field pretty well.”
Sioux Falls’ starter Joe Bircher also took a no-decision. Bircher allowed two earned runs on five hits in six innings. Bircher walked two and struck out eight. It was Bircher’s 17th quality start (at least six innings and no more than three earned runs) in the last three years in which he did not earn the win.
The Goldeyes open a three-game series against the Lincoln Saltdogs on Friday night. First pitch at Shaw Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Kyle Anderson (2-0, 0.68) takes on Lincoln right-hander Shairon Martis (2-1, 2.50).
Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.goldeyes.com, or stopping by any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park. For information on season tickets, 10-Game Mini Packs, or group outings, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-2273.