GARY IN – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (41-29) won their seventh in a row on Saturday night, taking the third of four 11-2 against the Gary SouthShore RailCats (37-35) at U. S. Steel Yard.
Winnipeg starter Kevin McGovern (5-2, 4.02) pitched his first complete game this season, striking out eight and only surrendering two runs on two hits for the win.
“We had a lot of good offensive performances tonight,” Goldeyes hitting coach Tom Vaeth said, “but the story of tonight’s game begins and ends with Kevin McGovern. He had no-hit stuff tonight.”
The Goldeyes backed McGovern with an early 3-0 lead in the top first. Maikol Gonzalez and Adam Heisler opened the inning with a pair of singles, and Willie Cabrera scored Gonzalez on a 6-3 putout. Reggie Abercrombie – who went five-for-six – then singled to drive Heisler home. David Rohm advanced to first on a fielder’s choice, and Casio Grider scored him with a base hit.
The RailCats clawed their way onto the scoreboard in the second. After Anthony Cheky and Jose Gonzalez drew leadoff and one-out walks, respectively, John Holland singled to score them both and bring the RailCats within one. Reggie Abercrombie closed out the inning, catching a shot Jarred Mederos sent to centre field to prevent the tying run from scoring.
“We got back out there with just the two (RailCats) runs scored,” Vaeth said. “We rolled the dice . . . and everybody saw what McGovern did from that point going forward.”
Neither team scored again until the top fifth, when Grider hit an RBI single with the bases loaded. McGovern set the RailCats down in order in the bottom half of the inning, and the Goldeyes added three in the top sixth to take a 7-2 lead on an RBI double from Cabrera, an RBI single from Abercrombie and an RBI fielder’s choice by Jacob Rogers.
Cabrera walked in the top eighth, advanced to second on an Abercrombie base hit and scored on a Rohm double before the Goldeyes put up three more in the ninth.
Carlton Tanabe took first on a dropped third strike and Gonzalez walked before Cabrera drove them in with a three-run homer to give the Goldeyes an 11-2 lead. McGovern gave up a one-out walk in the bottom ninth, but he started a 1-6-3 double play to record the final outs and secure the series win.
Gary SouthShore starter Taylor Black (4-5, 5.93) gave up four earned runs on eight hits through 4 1/3 innings and suffered the loss.
The Goldeyes will look to sweep the series Sunday afternoon at 2, when Rick Forney sends right-hander Edwin Carl (6-5, 4.84) to face fellow righty Charle Rosario (7-3, 3.35).
“We’re going for the sweep, obviously, “Vaeth said. “You’ve got to keep distance between you and the teams chasing you in the wild card race. We’ll just have to scratch and claw and hope we get some off them.”
After Sunday’s series finale, the Goldeyes will kick off a three-game set against the Sioux Falls Canaries before returning home on Thursday to take on the Wichita Wingnuts at Shaw Park.
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.