WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (50-32) beat the St. Paul Saints 5-3 at Shaw Park on Wednesday night.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Wes Darvill lined a two-out single to centre field. Prior to Darvill’s hit, Saints’ starter Jason Hoppe had retired 10 batters in a row. After Darvill stole second base, Mason Katz battled back from an 0-2 count and ripped a two-run home run to left on the seventh pitch of his at bat to tie the game. Jordan Ebert drew a four-pitch walk, and Andrew Sohn extended the inning with a single through the right side on a two-strike count. On the next pitch, David Rohm crushed a three-run home run to left that put the Goldeyes in front for the remainder of the night.
“Momentum swings,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney . “We were down 2-0, staring down 3-0. When you’re around the game enough, you see when a team doesn’t score when they’re supposed to, and in the next half inning, the other team finds a way. We have a lot of depth in our lineup right now. We got two home runs today. Mason hits home runs. David’s not a home run hitter, but he delivers a big shot. Guys are just comfortable and confident, and believe that if they don’t get it done, the next guy will. Their starter held us well for four innings, but we put some good swings on it when it came down to it.”
The Saints brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the top of the sixth against Goldeyes’ starter Charle Rosario. Rosario then recorded back-to-back, three-pitch strikeouts of Kes Carter and Tanner Lubach to end the inning.
Victor Capellan struck out two during a scoreless top of the eighth.
Lubach hit a solo home run with one out in the top of the ninth to cut the Goldeyes’ lead to 5-3 before Ryan Chaffee retired the next two batters to pick up his 17th save of the year.
Rosario (9-5) earned the win, allowing two runs, one earned, on eight hits over seven innings. Rosario walked none, struck out seven, and held the Saints to two hits in 10 at bats with runners in scoring position. With runners on first and second and two outs in the first, Rosario won a nine-pitch battle with Anthony Gallas, striking out the Saints’ left fielder on a fourth consecutive 3-2 pitch. In the top of the fifth, Jon Kristoffersen led off with a double, and eventually reached third with one out. Rosario retired Mitch Delfino on a groundball to third base for the second out, and then struck out Nate Hanson looking on a full count breaking ball to end the inning.
“Veteran pitcher, throws strikes, and will always give you a chance,” said Forney on Rosario. “He worked around the leadoff double in the fifth, and that’s kind of when we answered back. Whatever Charle does for us won’t come as a surprise. We’re happy to have him.”
The Saints took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. With two outs and no one on base, Delfino singled to centre, stole second, and scored on a single to right-centre from Hanson.
In the top of the fourth, Gallas reached on an error with one out, stole second, and scored on a Tony Thomas single to left field.
Hoppe (0-2) took the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in five innings. Hoppe walked one and struck out none.
The Goldeyes have won five games in a row, and 15 of their last 18. Winnipeg will be at least five and a half games in front of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in the American Association North Division. The RedHawks were completing a double header at Sioux City at the conclusion of Winnipeg’s contest. The Goldeyes now lead the Saints by eight games in the North Division. Winnipeg also joined the Lincoln Saltdogs in becoming the first clubs to reach 50 wins this season.
The four-game series concludes Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Zack Dodson (5-5, 5.13) will start for the Goldeyes. 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