(Photo Credit: Betsy Bissen/St. Paul Saints)

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA – The Winnipeg Goldeyes topped the St. Paul Saints 5-2 in their series opener on Saturday night.

Goldeyes starting pitcher Brennan Bernardino worked his way through seven innings, allowing only one run on five hits, striking out four. The Goldeyes have now won four consecutive games.

The Fish opened scoring in the second. Tucker Nathans drew a four-pitch, leadoff walk from Saints’ starting pitcher Jake Matthys. Josh McAdams hit A grounder through centrefield, and Tyler Baker hit a single to load the bases. Nathansscored on a fielder’s choice hit by Blake Adams, to score the first run of the game.

In the third, Reggie Abercrombie and Josh Mazzola reached base on back-to-back singles. Nathans doubled down the right line to score Abercrombie, increasing their lead to 2-0. With two outs, McAdams singled to score Mazzola.

Trevor Sealey cut the Goldeyes’ lead by one when he hit a leadoff double in the bottom half, and scored on a double by Max Murphy.

In the fifthJordan Ebert doubled to left field. Gavin Stupienski subbed for Ebert due to an apparent injury incurred on the pitch. Grant Heyman followed up with a single to centrefield, scoring Stupienski.

In the 8th, Abercrombie drew a leadoff, four-pitch walk from Saints’ relief pitcher Ken Frosch. Abercrombie advanced to third during Mazzola’s at-bat, and scored on an error from Nathaniel Maggio to make the score 5-1.

In the bottom of the ninth, Justin O’Conner hit a leadoff homerun through left field to bring the Saints within three. Jack Charleston and Victor Capellan combined to out the next three batters, to keep the final score at 5-2 for the Goldeyes.

With Charleston’s appearance, he has now tied Brendan Lafferty for the highest number of relief appearances in a season. The record was set in 2015 and is not only a Goldeyes’ franchise record, but an American Association record as well.

The Fish meet the Saints again tomorrow at 5:05 p.m., for the second game of the three-game series. All games can be heard live on cjnu.ca