WINNIPEG, MB – Mikey O’Brien gave up only two hits through seven innings, as the Winnipeg Goldeyes (50-33) took Thursday’s series finale 9-3 over the St. Paul Saints (55-29) at Shaw Park.
Alonzo Harris led off the game with a solo home run to left field to give the Saints a 1-0 lead, but O’Brien shut down St. Paul’s offence over the next five innings. O’Brien retired 19 of the next 20 batters to face him and 17 consecutive Saints after he hit Trever Adams with a pitch in the top first.
The Goldeyes, meanwhile, put up three big runs in the second. Reggie Abercrombie put Winnipeg on the board after he drew a leadoff walk, stole second, advanced to third on a David Rohm base hit to centre and scored on a wild pitch. Ridge Hoopii-Haslam followed with a two-out, two-run shot – his fourth home run of the year – and gave Winnipeg a 3-1 lead.
Rohm scored Adam Heisler from third on a sacrifice fly to right field in the third, and, after St. Paul starter Dan Johnson sent the Goldeyes down in order in the fourth, the Fish put up another three-run inning. Casio Grider doubled with two outs and the bases loaded, scoring Maikol Gonzalez, Josh Romanski and Rohm to extend the Goldeyes’ lead to 7-1.
After a scoreless sixth, the Saints responded with a two-run homer from Tony Caldwell in the seventh, but the Goldeyes added one more on a Hoopii-Haslam double and another on a Heisler sacrifice fly in the eighth to take the game 9-3.
O’Brien (10-4, 4.58) struck out three, walked one and allowed three runs on two hits through seven innings for the win. Victor Capellan pitched a scoreless eighth, and Eric Eadington struck out two in the final three outs. Johnson (4-3, 4.50) gave up seven earned runs in 5 2/3 innings for the loss.
All nine Goldeyes starters reached base in what was the club’s fourth win over the Saints in five games (including the continuation of July 20th’s rained-out contest, which was completed on Aug. 16).
The Goldeyes now sit 4.5 games behind the Saints in the American Association North Division and lead the wild card race with a four-game advantage over the Laredo Lemurs.
The Goldeyes will visit the Sioux City Explorers for a three-game weekend series beginning on Friday at 7 p.m. and will return to Shaw Park for the first of four against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Monday night.
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.