SIOUX CITY, IA – Kevin McGovern put up his second consecutive scoreless outing to help the Goldeyes (51-35) prevent the series sweep with a 6-1 win over the Sioux City Explorers (46-40) on Sunday afternoon.
The Goldeyes’ hitters came out swinging early. With the bases loaded and one down in the top first, Josh Romanski beat out a potential double play to score Adam Heisler from third on an RBI fielder’s choice. Casio Grider followed with a single to score David Rohm and give Winnipeg a 1-0 lead.
Neither team scored again until the sixth, when the Goldeyes blew the game open with a four-run inning. David Rohm and Reggie Abercrombie led off with a pair of base hits, and, after Josh Romanski walked to load the bases, Casio Grider hit a three-run double. Maikol Gonzalez singled to score Wes Darvill later in the inning and extend the Goldeyes’ lead to 6-0.
“We had a good start today from Kevin McGovern,” Goldeyes hitting coach Tom Vaeth said on the team post-game show. “He gave us a chance to do something offensively. It was nice to get on the board early with those two quick runs in the first, combined with the zeroes that Kevin was able to put up for us. We were able to put up that big four-spot in the sixth, and it kind of rolled from there.”
Victor Capellan relieved McGovern in the home eighth. He recorded the first out then gave up back-to-back hits – a single and a double – to give the Explorers their first and only run of the day.
Former Goldeye Dylan Rheault sent Winnipeg down in order in the ninth, and Eric Eadington struck out two in the scoreless home half to end the game.
McGovern (7-3, 3.78) struck out eight, walked two and only gave up one hit through seven scoreless innings for the win. Sioux City starter Bubba Maxwell (1-1, 5.00) gave up the two runs on five hits in the first inning for the loss.
The win is the Goldeyes’ 51st of the season, marking the club’s 20th winning season in 23 years.
“All that wouldn’t have been possible without what McGovern did for us – putting those zeroes up and holding a team like that to one hit through seven innings,” Vaeth said. “That’s nothing short of a fantastic outing right there.”
With the victory, the Goldeyes are now 3.5 games behind the St. Paul Saints in the American Association North Division and 3.5 games ahead of the Laredo Lemurs in the wild card race.
“It was a big win today,” Vaeth said. “Leaving here with nothing worse than a three-game lead is big for us. Now we’ll go home and try to distance ourselves again and extend the lead.”
The Goldeyes return to Shaw Park for the first of four against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Monday night at 7. Right-hander Edwin Carl (8-6, 4.88) will take the mound for the Goldeyes. The RedHawks haven’t announced their starting pitcher.
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.