WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (50-33) lost 10-7 to the St. Paul Saints at Shaw Park on Thursday night.
In the top of the first inning, Mitch Delfino singled through the right side with one out. Two batters later, Delfino stole second base and scored the game’s first run when Brady Shoemaker reached on an error by Wes Darvill at third.
The Goldeyes scored three runs in the second to take the lead. Reggie Abercrombie drew a leadoff walk and scored two batters later on David Bergin’s double to left-centre. Bergin scored the go-ahead run on a two-out, RBI double to left from Mason Katz. After Katz took third on a wild pitch, Jordan Ebert lined a single to centre that made it 3-1 Goldeyes.
The Saints answered back with three runs in the top of the third. Danny Oh led off with a single to centre and took third when Delfino doubled down the left field line. After Nate Hanson was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Shoemaker drove in Oh with a sacrifice fly to right. Anthony Gallas doubled down the left field line to plate Delfino with the tying run, and the Saints went back in front when Hanson scored on a Tony Thomas sacrifice fly to centre.
“Just pitching and defence wasn’t there for us today,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “It’s hard to create positive offensive flow when you’re playing 15 to 20 minutes on defence. Guys fought back and put two up in the late innings to give us a chance, but too many mistakes early cost us. We had a winning homestand against two good teams, and won three out of four against St. Paul. We have to regroup, go down to Fargo, and try to play better baseball tomorrow.”
In the top of the fourth Tanner Lubach reached on a fielder’s choice and took third on a single down the right field line from Oh. Delfino then beat out a potential double play ball that allowed Lubach to score the Saints’ fifth run.
Shoemaker led off the fifth with an infield single. Two batters later, Thomas singled down the left field line. The Saints took a 7-3 lead when Kes Carter reached on an error charged to Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Zack Dodson. Thomas went to third on the play and came home on a JJ Gould suicide squeeze bunt.
Thomas led off the seventh with a single through the left side, took second on a Carter sacrifice, and scored the Saints’ eighth run when Gould doubled into the left field corner.
The Goldeyes pulled back within three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Ebert singled up the middle with one out. Andrew Sohn followed with a walk. Ebert led a double steal and scored when Lubach made an errant throw to second base. Two batters later, Josh Romanski singled to right against left-handed reliever Kenneth Frosch.
With two outs and no one on base in the top of the eighth, Gallas singled to left. Thomas then hit a two-run home run to left-centre that re-extended the Saints’ lead to 10-5.
Winnipeg once again pulled within three on solo home runs in the bottom of the eight from Shawn Pleffner and Katz. Pleffner turned 28 on Thursday.
Saints’ right-hander Vinny Nittoli retired the final four Goldeyes in order to close out the game.
Dodson (5-6) took the loss, allowing seven runs, four earned, on eight hits in six innings. Dodson walked two and struck out five.
Ryan Zimmerman (6-6) started and won for the Saints, allowing three earned runs on four hits over six innings. Zimmerman walked four and struck out six.
Mitchell Lambson struck out five over two innings of relief. Ebert reached base four times with two hits and two walks.
With Fargo-Moorhead’s win at Sioux City, the Goldeyes lead the RedHawks by four and a half games in the American Association North Division. St. Paul is seven games back of Winnipeg.
The Goldeyes open a four-game series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Friday night. Kevin McGovern (10-2, 2.73) starts for Winnipeg. First pitch from Newman Outdoor Field is scheduled for 7:02 p.m. All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes return home on Tuesday, August 22nd when they host the Sioux City Explorers. 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