WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (18-19) lost 5-4 to the Gary SouthShore RailCats at Shaw Park on Tuesday night.
With the Goldeyes leading 4-0 in the top of the fifth inning, the RailCats rallied for five two-out runs to take the lead. Ryan Fitzgerald drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second two batters later on a throwing error charged to Wes Darvill . After Chase Harris hit an infield fly rule popup for the second out of the inning, Reggie Wilson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Anthony Cheky got the RailCats on the board with a line drive, two-run single to centre field. Frank Martinez followed with an RBI single to left that cut the Goldeyes’ lead to 4-3. Cheky and Martinez then executed a double steal and scored the tying and go-ahead runs on a throwing error charged to Andrew Sohn.
After RailCats’ starter Charle Rosario (4-3) worked a scoreless bottom of the fifth, the RailCats’ bullpen combined for four shutout innings to close out the game.
“We seem to be playing that same game a lot the past two weeks,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “Having some breakdowns on defence that are costing us, and not scoring enough runs to cover for our mistakes. We had plenty of time to come back, five innings worth of at bats, but we don’t seem very opportunistic. We need to tighten up the defence and pick up the pace offensively.”
The Goldeyes threatened in the eighth, putting the tying and go-ahead runs on base with one out, but left-hander Carlos Diaz escaped the jam with the RailCats still in front.
Ryan Chaffee struck out the side in the top of the ninth to keep the Goldeyes within one run.
Sohn led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk and was sacrificed to second by David Rohm. After Josh Romanski reached on catcher’s interference to put the winning run on base, Diaz survived a deep line drive to right from Reggie Abercrombie and then retired Shawn Pleffner on a flyball to left that ended the game.
Rosario earned the win, allowing four earned runs on seven hits over five innings. Rosario walked four and struck out one.
Diaz earned a five-out save, his second of the year.
The Goldeyes took an early lead in the first when back-to-back singles from Rohm and Romanski set up an Abercrombie sacrifice fly to left.
In the bottom of the fourth, David Bergin came back from a 1-2 count and lined a single to centre. Mason Katz then rallied from 0-2 to draw a nine-pitch walk. After Darvill laid down a sacrifice bunt, Jordan Ebert singled to right-centre to score both Bergin and Katz. Two batters later, Rohm extended the inning with a walk, setting up a two-out, RBI single through the right side from Romanski.
“We’re getting off to a great start,” said Forney. “There just always seems to be a mental breakdown in the middle part of the game that changes the outcome. We still have two months to play, but we have to get some things straight.”
Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Kevin McGovern (5-2) took the loss, allowing five unearned runs on four hits in six innings. McGovern walked three and struck out three.
Daniel Minor worked a scoreless top of the seventh, while Evan Rutckyj pitched a scoreless eighth in his Goldeyes’ debut. Rohm finished with three hits, a walk, and a sacrifice bunt. Romanski and Pleffner each had two hits. Katz walked three times. Sohn had a nine-game hitting streak come to an end.
Game two of the three-game series is Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Zach Nuding (2-4, 6.05) takes on left-hander Alex Gunn (2-3, 4.14).
Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.ticketmaster.ca, 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