WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (31-26) beat the St. Paul Saints 6-4 at Shaw Park on Monday night.
Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Kevin McGovern (4-1) earned the win, striking out 11 batters over six innings. McGovern allowed four earned runs on five hits while walking three. The 11 strikeouts are the most by a Goldeyes’ pitcher this season.
Tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Adam Heisler drew a leadoff walk and took second when Maikol Gonzalez executed a hit-and-run on a groundball to third. Two batters later, Reggie Abercrombie lined a long, two-out double to left-centre field to score Heisler with the go-ahead run.
“It was a great game,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney on the Goldeyes’ postgame show. “Kevin had true swing-and-miss stuff early on. That was the best fastball, slider, change-up combination I’ve seen from any left- or right-handed pitcher this season. We’re continuing to ride Reggie (Abercrombie). He’s hot right now and guys are feeding off of him. As I’ve said all year, walks are really important to our offence. If we can get guys on, we have the personnel to really speed the game up on teams.”
In the bottom of the sixth, Wes Darvill singled to left with one out, fighting off an 0-2 pitch. Darvill stole second, took third on a bouncer to shortstop from Casio Grider, and scored the Goldeyes’ sixth run on a wild pitch from Saints’ reliever Mike Strong.
“We swung the bats well,” said Darvill. We were getting good pitches to hit, and we were driving them. Timely hitting is always good, and that’s what we did tonight. It’s a fun time to be a hitter if you’re in the lineup with us. It seems to be clicking right now, and we’ve just got to make the most of these next two days against St. Paul.”
Cameron McVey relieved McGovern in the seventh and worked a scoreless inning to protect the lead. Darvill and Grider helped turn an inning-ending double play in support of McVey.
Eric Eadington struck out two in a perfect top of the eighth against the middle of the Saints’ order.
Robert Tasin pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his third save with the Goldeyes.
Winnipeg took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Darvill doubled to left-centre, advanced to third on a Grider sacrifice bunt, and scored on Tanner Murphy’s double that hit the chalk down the right field line.
The Saints responded in the next half inning on a three-run homer to left-centre from Willie Argo.
The Goldeyes answered back in the bottom of the fourth when Abercrombie lofted a leadoff homer to left. It was Abercrombie’s sixth homer in his last nine games. Abercrombie was named the American Association’s Batter of the Week earlier in the afternoon. Two batters later, David Rohm lined a single to right and eventually scored when Grider pulled a two-out, two-run shot down the left field line. The pair of long balls gives the Goldeyes 27 home runs in their last 11 games, as well as 99 runs scored during that same stretch.
Breland Almadova drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fifth and eventually scored the tying run when Alonzo Harris legged out a two-out, infield single before Winnipeg re-took the lead in the bottom of the frame.
Robert Coe (7-2) took the loss for the Saints, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in five innings. Coe walked one and struck out five.
Game two of the series is Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Edwin Carl (4-5, 5.61) faces left-hander Eric Veglahn (2-2, 3.48).
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.