GARY, IN – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (23-23) were looking for their first series sweep of the season on Wednesday night, but a four-run fifth inning instead helped the Gary SouthShore RailCats (25-20) to a 5-1 win at U.S. Steel Yard.
The Goldeyes held the RailCats scoreless through the first four innings before Jeremy Hamilton hit a leadoff single in the bottom fifth. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and later scored on an RBI single to right from Randy Santiesteban. Brennan Metzger walked with the bases loaded to drive in a third run, and Tillman Pugh followed with an RBI single to give the RailCats a 4-0 lead.
“They’re a patient team,” Goldeyes hitting coach Tom Vaeth said about Gary after the game. “They like to grind at-bats out and get walks when they can. We walked in a run, and it just kind of snowballed on us.”
Winnipeg got one back in the sixth. Wes Darvill walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice before scoring on a sacrifice fly to left from Adam Heisler, who had one hit and one RBI and struck out twice in his fifth game back off the disabled list.
“Every day, he gets a little bit better and gets back in his rhythm,” Vaeth said about Heisler. “He’s seeing more pitches per at-bats and starting to come back to where he was.”
The RailCats added one more on a Matt Petrone RBI single in the seventh to take the 5-1 lead. Winnipeg rallied in the ninth, sending five batters to the plate – including Jacob Rogers and Casio Grider who put up a pair of two-out singles – but the Fish couldn’t mount a comeback and dropped the three-game series finale.
Goldeyes starter Mikey O’Brien (5-3, 3.85) gave up four runs on five hits and walked three through six innings for the loss. Left-hander Conor Spink pitched the seventh and eighth and allowed the final RailCats run. Gary starter Karl Triana (3-4, 3.35) picked up his third win of the season after walking one and only surrendering one run on three hits through seven innings.
“He was tough on us tonight,” Vaeth said. “He didn’t give us a lot to hit, and when he did leave balls up for us, we seemed to hit them right to their guys.
“He out-pitched our ace tonight.”
The Goldeyes will look to get back over .500 on Thursday night at 7 when left-hander Kevin McGovern (2-1, 4.01) starts the first of four against the Sioux Falls Canaries.
“We did pitch it well, and we hope that will continue into the next series,” Vaeth said. “We’ve got to win this next four-game series, so hopefully everyone comes out to the ballpark ready to grind it out.”
After the road set against the Canaries, the Goldeyes will return home for nine games, starting with three against the Sioux City Explorers.
Tickets for all Goldeyes home games are available at the Shaw Park box office or by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE or visiting ticketmaster.ca. All Goldeyes games are broadcast live on 93.7 CJNU and at cjnu.ca.