WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (30-26) beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats 23-4 at Shaw Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Goldeyes totaled 25 hits in the win, including six more home runs. All 10 position players had at least one hit. In their last 10 games, the Goldeyes have scored 93 runs while homering 25 times.
“We got out of the gates really fast today,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney . “We were able to put the barrel on the ball quite a bit, and we had a few go our way. When we got jammed, we were able to loop some in. I thought we ran the bases well. Just an all-around good day for us offensively.
“Ever since we got out of Gary where you can’t hit home runs, we got to Sioux Falls, and we started to lift the ball a little better. I think the biggest thing is we’re taking pitches early in the count that are kind of borderline. We’re taking those pitches and working the count in our favour, and when you do that, you’re going to get yourself in some good counts to hit in where you can be a little more zone-selective. If someone makes a mistake, and you put a good swing on it when you’re hot, you’re going to be able to lift it and hit it in the gap or over the wall.”
The Goldeyes scored early and often against RailCats’ starter Blake Oliver (0-1). Adam Heisler homered for a third time in the last five games with a leadoff shot in the bottom of the first inning. After Maikol Gonzalez and Josh Romanski both singled, Reggie Abercrombie lined an RBI single to right to make it 2-0. Jacob Rogers followed with an RBI single through the right side, while Casio Grider added an RBI single two batters later.
The RailCats battled back with three runs in the top of the second on an RBI single from Cameron Newell, a passed ball, and a sacrifice fly from Matt Petrone.
The Goldeyes had their own response in the bottom of the second when Abercrombie lined a two-run homer off the bottom of the scoreboard in right-centre field.
RBI singles from Wes Darvill and Carlton Tanabe in the third extended the Goldeyes’ lead to 8-3.
Rogers opened the bottom of the fourth with an infield single, and was followed by a two-run homer to left-centre from David Rohm. Heisler made it a three-run inning with a sacrifice fly.
The Goldeyes broke the game wide open with an eight-run bottom of the fifth against reliever Taylor Black. Rogers ripped a two-run homer to right-centre with one out. After the Goldeyes loaded the bases, Tanabe singled home Rohm to make it 14-3. Heisler worked a bases loaded walk while Ridge Hoopii-Haslam drove in a run with a groundball for Winnipeg’s next two scores. Romanski capped off the outburst with a three-run home run down the right field line.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Rogers on the Goldeyes’ offensive surge. “You never know when it’s going to happen, but when it does, it seems like everybody clicks, and it’s fun. Top to bottom, it seemed like everybody was chipping in, getting some RBI, some good hits, and we kind of flipped the lineup around I think two or three times, so it was nice.”
Goldeyes’ starter Mikey O’Brien (6-4) earned the win, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits in seven innings. O’Brien walked five and struck out four. O’Brien is now one win shy of 50 for his nine-year professional career.
“I thought Mikey did a good job,” said Forney. “He did a great job of making the adjustment and going to his four-seam fastball. If it wasn’t for the second inning, he probably would’ve finished that game today, but it’s not easy to pitch these days when you’re sitting in the dugout for 10, 12, 15, 20 minutes per half inning. That’s hard to keep your body loose and stay engaged mentally, but he did a nice job (and) gave us the seven innings we needed.”
Doubles from Heisler and Hoopii-Haslam set up an RBI groundout from Romanski in the bottom of the seventh.
The RailCats (29-27) scored their fourth run in the top of the eighth on a two-out, RBI double by Jarred Mederos.
The Goldeyes finished off the day with a three-run bottom of the eighth. Darvill hit a two-out, RBI double to right-centre to extend the lead to 21-4. Tanabe followed with a two-run homer to left for the game’s final runs. Tanabe had four hits in the game.
Brandon Shimo closed out the afternoon with a perfect ninth. Kyle Lotzkar struck out the side in relief of O’Brien in the eighth.
Heisler, Romanski, Abercrombie, Rogers, Rohm, Grider, and Darvill joined Tanabe in multi-hit efforts. Heisler, Romanski, Abercrombie, Rogers, Rohm, Grider, Darvill, and Tanabe all scored multiple runs.
Oliver took the loss, allowing 11 earned runs on 14 hits in four innings. Oliver walked three and struck out three.
The Goldeyes fell just shy of two major franchise records. The Goldeyes’ single-game record for runs scored is 24, last set on July 16th, 1997 at Fargo-Moorhead. Winnipeg’s single-game hits record is 27, set July 15th, 2009 at Schaumburg.
The Goldeyes open a three-game series against the St. Paul Saints on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. Kevin McGovern (3-1, 4.26) takes on right-hander Robert Coe (7-1, 3.44).
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.