WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (54-38) beat the Sioux City Explorers 10-4 at Shaw Park on Saturday evening.
With St. Paul losing 4-0 at Lincoln, the Goldeyes pull back within three games of first place in the North Division. The Goldeyes have eight games left on their schedule, including three against the Saints at CHS Field next week. With Laredo losing 3-1 at Joplin, Winnipeg increases its lead in the wild card race to two and a half games.
“Last night, we played a good game, with the exception of one bad half inning on the defensive side,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney . “Nice bounce-back effort today. We got a great start from Edwin. He threw the ball really well today.”
For a second time in three nights, the Goldeyes supported themselves with 11 offensive walks. Maikol Gonzalez drew the first, a leadoff free pass in the first inning. Gonzalez stole second base and scored the game’s first run on a two-out, RBI double down the right field line from Reggie Abercrombie.
The Explorers scored an unearned run in the top of the second to tie the game, but the Goldeyes put up four in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead for good. Wes Darvill drew a one-out walk and took second when Carlton Tanabe ripped a single to left on an 0-2 count. After Gonzalez walked to load the bases, Shawn Blackwell relieved Explorers’ starter Hobbs Johnson (1-2). Blackwell nearly escaped the jam with the game still tied when he induced a groundball to shortstop from Adam Heisler . Heisler, though, beat out Bryan Johns’ relay to first to avoid the double play. Darvill scored the go-ahead run. Willie Cabrera, Abercrombie, and Josh Romanski followed with consecutive two-out, RBI singles.
“I didn’t realize we had walked that much today,” said Forney. “That’s a good sign, because we did the same thing a few days ago, and we’re always a better offence when we’re taking our walks and forcing people to throw extra pitches, because we can steal bags and go first to third pretty well. It just adds another dimension to our game, so it was some good ‘ABs’ for everybody.”
Goldeyes’ starter Edwin Carl (9-6) worked out of a first and second no out jam in the fifth when Romanski threw out Ralph Henriquez at the plate. Henriquez attempted to score from third on a flyball to right from Johns.
Sioux City scratched out a run in the sixth when Michael Lang scored from second on a LeVon Washington fielder’s choice, but the Goldeyes answered with another four-run inning in the bottom half. Abercrombie tripled down the left field line with one out, prompting the Explorers to intentionally walk Romanski. David Rohm made it 6-2 with a bloop single to centre. After Casio Grider reached on an infield single to load the bases, Darvill smacked a three-run double to left-centre.
The Explorers scored their final two runs in the top of the seventh on an infield single from Derrick Robinson and a delayed double steal of second and home. Robert Tasin, Victor Capellan, and Brandon Shimo combined to record the final seven outs in a row.
“Just an all-around good day, and I’m really encouraged by the outing of the bullpen,” said Forney. “They’ve been scuffling a little bit. Sioux City’s been doing some damage on our pen last weekend and then they had some success again today, so I’m glad those guys had a good outing.”
Rohm scored Winnipeg’s 10th run on a two-out wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth.
Carl earned the win, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits in six and two-thirds innings. Carl walked two and struck out six.
Johnson took the loss, allowing three earned runs on two hits in three and one-third innings. Johnson walked seven and struck out two.
All nine of the Goldeyes’ starters reached base at least twice, with seven different players collecting at least one hit. Rohm had two hits and has hit safely in eight games in a row. Abercrombie finished with three hits, while Gonzalez totaled three walks. The Goldeyes had five stolen bases, including three from Heisler.
The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Mikey O’Brien (10-4, 4.79) faces right-hander Bryan Escanio (5-3, 5.53).
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.