SIOUX FALLS, SD – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (44-30) beat the Sioux Falls Canaries 9-7 at Sioux Falls Stadium on Monday night.
Leading off the game, Andrew Sohn came back from an 0-2 count to beat out an infield single. Two batters later, Josh Romanski lined a double to left-centre that drove in Sohn from first. Reggie Abercrombie was then robbed by centre fielder Dan Motl who made a diving catch on a drive to right-centre for the second out. On the next pitch, Shawn Pleffner crushed a two-run home run to right that made it 3-0.
In the top of the third, Sohn led off with an eight-pitch single through the right side and eventually scored the Goldeyes’ fourth run on a two-out wild pitch from Canaries’ starter Bryce Morrow.
Pleffner singled sharply up the middle leading off the fourth and took second when David Bergin reached on an error by shortstop Brett Marr. Wes Darvill then singled through the right side on an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. Two batters later, Jordan Ebert beat out a fielder’s choice groundball that scored Pleffner from third. Sohn made it 7-0 Winnipeg with a line drive, two-run double to right-centre. Ebert raced home on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 8-0. Romanski capped the five-run rally with a two-out, RBI single down the right field line that scored Sohn.
“It was nice to provide some early offence and give Kevin some run support,” said Goldeyes’ hitting coach Tom Vaeth. “That’s what you have to do in this ballpark. This park is conducive to hitting and scoring runs. You have to put up crooked numbers. On the flipside, you have to limit those on defence. They have a good bullpen and brought in some good arms, but McGovern was able to throw up some zeros and match them.”
The Canaries chipped into the lead with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Trey Vavra tripled to centre leading off and scored on a Burt Reynolds single up the middle. Ty Morrison singled through the left side, while Jabari Henry walked two batters later to load the bases with one out. Tyler Wolfe singled through the left side to drive in Reynolds and Morrison. Henry took third on an errant throw to the plate and scored the Canaries’ fourth run on a Patrick Fiala sacrifice fly to left.
Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Kevin McGovern (9-2) earned the win, allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits in six and two-thirds innings. McGovern walked four and struck out four.
Morrow took the loss, allowing nine runs, seven earned, on nine hits in four innings. Morrow walked none and struck out six.
In the bottom of the seventh, Marr drew a leadoff walk, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Reynolds single to centre. After McGovern struck out Morrison looking, Chris Jacobs walked to put runners on first and second. Mitchell Lambson relieved McGovern and struck out Henry on three consecutive off-speed pitches to end the threat.
“Mitch pitched efficiently,” said Vaeth. “I think he was the only fresh arm for us, so good job from him settling down and getting that big out for us.”
Vavra hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to cut the Goldeyes’ lead to 9-6. Reynolds collected his fifth hit of the night with a single to right. After Morrison was retired on a bunt attempt, Jacobs walked to bring the tying run to the plate. Henry lined a single to centre that brought home Reynolds before Lambson struck out Wolfe to end the game and convert the seven-out save.
It was Lambson’s first save of the year and his first since 2015.
Sohn finished with three hits and three runs scored. Romanski also had three hits. The Goldeyes improved to 8-1 on their season-high 11-game road trip, and have won nine of their last 10. With Fargo-Moorhead’s loss versus Kansas City, the Goldeyes increased their lead in the American Association North Division to three games.
The series continues Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Zack Dodson (5-4, 5.06) faces right-hander Grady Wood (5-2, 3.01). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Winnipeg Goldeyes return home on Friday, August 11th when they host the Wichita Wingnuts at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for all Goldeyes’ 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