WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (19-19) beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats 6-4 at Shaw Park on Wednesday night.
With the Goldeyes trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Shawn Pleffner doubled to right-centre field with one out. David Bergin followed with a double to left-centre that scored Pleffner with the tying run.
“Energy was good,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “Effort was good. Offensively, we were much better, and had some production throughout the order. There was a lot of production from the bottom especially, and the bullpen was fantastic. We were on a negative streak, and you need to end that in a hurry. You have to find a way to win six out of 10 games if we want to play meaningful baseball at the end of the season. Today was a step in the right direction. We’ll see what we bring tomorrow.”
After Mitchell Lambson struck out the side in order in the top of the seventh, the Goldeyes rallied for two runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. Jordan Ebert led off and hustled out a double on a line drive to right-centre. Andrew Sohn was hit by a pitch on a full count, and David Rohm followed with a sacrifice bunt to set up second and third with one out. Josh Romanski gave Winnipeg the lead with a line drive single to centre that scored Ebert. Sohn scored the Goldeyes’ sixth run on a Reggie Abercrombie sacrifice fly. Sohn was able to slide head first under the tag of RailCats’ catcher James Alfonso on a throw from shallow right field by Colin Willis.
Victor Capellan worked a scoreless top of the eighth, while Ryan Chaffee struck out three during a scoreless ninth to earn his league-leading 11th save of the year. With the three strikeouts, Chaffee now has 600 for his professional career.
“Our key (bullpen) guys have been great all year,” said Forney. “We’ve gotten a lot better adding Minor and Evan (Rutckyj). They were great on the road last week, and pitched well again tonight. (Chaffee’s) throwing well and doing his job. He’s not afraid of the moment. He has good stuff. His fastball has life across the plate, and he can locate a really good breaking ball.”
The Goldeyes jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second. With two outs and no one on base, Bergin doubled into the left field corner and scored on a single up the middle from Wes Darvill. After Alixon Suarez reached on an infield single, Darvill led the front end of a double steal and scored when Alfonso’s throw went into left field. Ebert followed with single up the middle that plated Suarez.
In the top of the third, John Holland led off with a double to right centre and advanced to third two batters later on a single from Reggie Wilson. Anthony Cheky cut the Goldeyes’ lead to 3-1 with a sacrifice fly to left.
The RailCats tied the game in the top of the fourth when Alfonso singled down the right field line with two outs and scored on a two-run home run from Ryan Fitzgerald.
Kris Goodman led off the sixth with a single to centre, stole second, and took third on a throwing error charged to Suarez. After Wilson walked, Cheky grounded into a double play that brought Goodman home with the lead run.
Lambson (3-2) earned the win with two shutout innings.
Zach Nuding started for the Goldeyes and took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on eight hits over five innings. Nuding walked one and struck out one.
Alex Weingarten (1-2) took the loss for the RailCats, allowing two earned runs in two innings of relief.
Alex Gunn started for the RailCats and also took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in six innings. Gunn walked one and struck out three.
Bergin hit three doubles, tying a Goldeyes’ single-game record last accomplished by Josh Mazzola on August 7th, 2015 at Gary SouthShore. Lambson has allowed just one earned run in his last seven appearances over 12.0 innings pitched. Suarez joined Bergin in a three-hit night. Romanski made seven putouts in left field.
The series concludes Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Zack Dodson (2-2, 5.68) faces right-hander Westin Wuethrich (0-0, 6.00).
Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.ticketmaster.ca, 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