WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (33-24) beat the St. Paul Saints 5-3 at Shaw Park on Tuesday night.
Wes Darvill won the game with a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Trailing 3-1, Josh Romanski battled former Major League right-hander Mark Hamburger for a nine-pitch single through the right side. Reggie Abercrombie followed with a popfly single that fell in shallow left-centre. Shawn Pleffner then ripped a single to right that scored Romanski and sent Abercrombie to third with the tying run. Two batters later, Darvill ripped the first pitch of his at bat over the right field wall. It was the Goldeyes’ first walk-off home run since Romanski beat the Saints on July 20th of last year (game completed on August 16th).
“Great baseball game,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “Pitching was good. You try not to talk too much about it and put pressure on the starters, but they were as advertised. McGovern gave us seven really good innings. Hamburger got himself into the ninth with a two-run lead. We couldn’t get much going on him. We put a hit-and-run on him early, sac bunted. Just trying to put a guy in scoring position, because you don’t know how many chances you’ll get against Hamburger.
“Romanski got on, Reggie hit one high and had some good fortune when that ball fell through. Pleffner rifles one through to get our first run. Reggie beats a great throw from Almadova, and Darvill came through.”
With the win, the Goldeyes increase their lead to 2.0 games over the Saints in the North Division. The Goldeyes have won 14 of their last 18 games.
In the bottom of the second, Abercrombie singled up the middle and took second two batters later when David Bergin singled through the left side. Bergin has reached base in 40 consecutive games with a hit, walk, or hit by pitch. Darvill hit a groundball to first baseman Brady Shoemaker whose throw to second went into left field and allowed Abercrombie to score the game’s first run.
“Two best pitchers in the league right there,” said Darvill. “It was a lot of fun, and what a great way to end it. I was trying to pull the ball with a little bit of room there, just trying to get a good pitch and get the barrel on it. He’s a great pitcher and makes his pitches. Good job by the guys battling. We just kept grinding. I don’t hit too many (home runs), so it’s nice when it comes in the ninth inning.”
The Saints tied the game in the top of the fourth when Anthony Gallas lined a triple to centre and scored on a ground rule double to left from Nate Hanson.
Tony Thomas led off the top of the seventh with a double to left-centre and was sacrificed to third by Kes Carter. After the Goldeyes intentionally walked Maxx Garrett, starting pitcher Kevin McGovern struck out Jon Kristoffersen. Ben Beurkle then grounded a single through the right side that scored Thomas with the go-ahead run.
The Saints took a 3-1 lead in the eighth when Gallas hit a solo home run to left-centre.
McGovern took a no-decision, allowing two earned runs on five hits over seven innings. McGovern walked two and struck out four. McGovern has pitched at least six innings in each of his last 11 starts.
Kenny Mathews (2-1) earned the win in relief for Winnipeg with a scoreless top of the ninth. During the ninth, Patrick Brady made a jumping catch on a line drive from Beurkle that resulted in an inning-ending double play.
Hamburger (9-2) took a complete game loss, allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits in eight and one-third innings. Hamburger walked two, struck out six, and had retired 12 consecutive batters until Romanski’s leadoff single in the ninth.
Romanski has hit safely in 13 consecutive games for a third time this season, tying a career-high. David Rohm’s career-high 15-game hitting streak came to an end.
The series concludes Wednesday morning at 11:05 a.m. Zack Dodson (4-3, 5.43) faces right-hander Robert Coe (0-0, 6.14).
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