LINCOLN, NE – The Winnipeg Goldeyes beat the Lincoln Saltdogs 5-4 in Game One of the American Association Division Series at Haymarket Park on Wednesday night.
The Goldeyes lead the best-of-five series 1-0.
Tied at 4-4 in the top of the eighth inning, Wes Darvill led off with a line drive single to centre on an 0-2 count, and was sacrificed to second by Mason Katz. Two batters later, Casey Turgeon singled through the right side to score Darvill with the go-ahead run.
Victor Capellan pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth, stranding the tying and go-ahead runs on base.
Cesar Valera hit a bloop single to centre leading off the bottom of the ninth. Valera tried to advance to second on the play, but was thrown out by Reggie Abercrombie for the first out of the inning. Ryan Chaffee then retired Curt Smith and Randolph Oduber on back-to-back groundballs to close out the game. Chaffee earned the save, his first of the postseason.
The Saltdogs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Oduber led off with a double down the left field line and scored on a two-out double to centre from Dashenko Ricardo.
In the bottom of the third, Lincoln loaded the bases with no outs. After Oduber grounded into a force play at home, Christian Ibarra drew a bases loaded walk that made it 2-0. Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Kevin McGovern minimized the damage when Juan Martinez grounded into an inning-ending double play.
With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the fourth, Joe Robbins hit a solo home run to right-centre that extended the Saltdogs lead to 3-0.
Lincoln went ahead 4-0 in the fifth when Smith hit a solo shot to right-centre with one out.
The Goldeyes rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game. Josh Romanski drew a one-out walk and took third when Abercrombie doubled off the bottom of the wall in centre. After Shawn Pleffnerwalked to load the bases, David Bergin ripped a double down the left field line that scored Romanski and Abercrombie, cutting the Saltdogs’ lead in half. Lincoln elected to intentionally walk Wes Darvill to re-load the bases. Mason Katz came back from a 1-2 count to draw a bases loaded walk that forced home Pleffner with the Goldeyes’ third run. Andrew Sohn tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right in which Bergin narrowly beat a strong throw to the plate from Oduber.
Edwin Carl made his first relief appearance of the season in the bottom of the sixth, and worked a scoreless inning to keep the game tied.
Mitchell Lambson (1-0) picked up the win after striking out two batters during a scoreless seventh.
McGovern took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in five innings. McGovern walked three and struck out five.
Saltdogs’ starter Shairon Martis also took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on five hits over six innings. Martis walked six and struck out one.
JR Bunda (0-1) took the loss in relief for Lincoln.
The Goldeyes’ bullpen combined for four shutout innings in relief of McGovern. Carl’s relief appearance was his first since Game Four of the 2016 Division Series at St. Paul. Darvill reached base four times in four trips to the plate.
Game Two of the American Association Division Series is Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m. Mikey O’Brien (10-5, 4.65) faces right-hander Derek Gordon (9-4, 3.46). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes host Game Three of the series Saturday, September 9th at 6:05 p.m. The “if necessary” Games Four and Five will also be played at Shaw Park on Sunday, September 10th (4:05 p.m.) and Monday, September 11th (7:05 p.m.).
Tickets for all Goldeyes postseason 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