WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (32-26) beat the St. Paul Saints 7-1 at Shaw Park on Monday night.
Three Goldeyes’ pitchers, led by starter Edwin Carl (5-5), combined for a one-hitter. Coupled with Laredo’s loss at Gary SouthShore, the Goldeyes move into a tie for the American Association wild card lead, and cut their deficit in the North Division to seven and a half games behind the Saints. Winnipeg has now won five consecutive series, and 11 of their last 15 contests.
“I think we’re kind of on a roll here, especially at home,” said Carl. “So tonight was a big win, and hopefully we can keep the momentum going. They’re (St. Paul) the team everybody’s catching, and for us to finally beat them at home is big.”
Adam Heisler was hit by a pitch leading off the first inning. After Heisler stole second base with two outs, Reggie Abercrombie extended the frame with an infield single. Willie Cabrera reached on an error by Saints’ third baseman Trever Adams to bring home Heisler with the games’ first run.
Heisler doubled down the right field line to start the bottom of the third, advanced to third base on a bunt single past the mound from Maikol Gonzalez, and scored Winnipeg’s second run on David Rohm’s sacrifice fly to right.
The Goldeyes broke the game open with a four-run bottom of the fourth. Casio Grider drew a four-pitch leadoff walk. Wes Darvill was next and took the first pitch, allowing Grider to steal second. Darvill then hit a groundball to second that advanced Grider to third with only one out. After Carlton Tanabe worked a seven-pitch walk, Heisler doubled to deep right field to drive in Grider and extend the lead to 3-0. Gonzalez followed with a sacrifice fly to centre to plate Tanabe. Rohm then doubled off the wall in left-centre to score Heisler, while Abercrombie capped the inning with a groundball single to centre that chased Rohm to the plate.
“I mean, you’ve got to love it,” said Carl on the Goldeyes’ offence that has now scored 106 runs in the last 12 games. “It’s almost, ‘who’s going to come out with the big hit, big homer,’ so it’s definitely nice to have kind of a cushion to pitch with and take the stress off some of our guys.”
The Saints (40-19) scored their lone run against Carl in the top of the fifth. With first and second and two outs, Aaron Gretz hit a soft, line drive single to centre that scored Willie Argo in what turned out to be the only hit allowed by the Goldeyes’ pitching staff.
Carl earned the win, allowing one earned run on one hit in six and two-thirds innings. Carl walked five and struck out three.
The Goldeyes scratched out their seventh run in the bottom of the fifth when Gonzalez drew a two-out, bases loaded walk. During the inning, Grider worked a nine-pitch at bat for a single that contributed to the rally.
Kyle Anderson relieved Carl in the top of the seventh and recorded outs on all four batters to face him on a combined 11 pitches.
Brandon Shimo pitched a perfect top of the ninth to close out the win.
Heisler finished with three runs scored.
Saints’ starter Eric Veglahn (2-3) took the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, on seven hits in four-plus innings. Veglahn walked three, struck out two, and was relieved one batter into the bottom of the fourth due to injury.
Saints’ outfielder Breland Almadova made his first career appearance as a pitcher in the bottom of the eighth, and worked a perfect inning.
The series concludes Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Duke von Schamann (5-4, 3.86) faces right-hander Mark Hamburger (10-0, 2.75).
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.