WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (23-30) lost 12-8 to the Sioux Falls Canaries (21-29) at Shaw Park on Thursday night.
The Canaries jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Patrick Fiala hit a two-out, solo home run that just cleared the left field wall.
In the bottom half of the inning, Matt McCann singled through the right side with one out, and advanced to third on a Josh Romanski single to left. Two batters later, Grant Heyman tied the game with a two-out, infield single.
The Canaries went back in front with three runs in the top of the fourth. Chris Grayson singled up the middle leading off and took second when David Bergin walked. After Jordan Smith was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Grayson scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-1. Maxx Garrett walked to reload the bases, setting up a Jordan Dean sacrifice fly to left. The Canaries stretched the lead to 4-1 when Mitch Glasser lined a single to left-centre that scored Smith.
Sioux Falls added three more in the fifth to open a 7-1 advantage. With second and third and one out, Smith beat out an infield single that plated Blake Schmit. After Garrett walked to load the bases, Dean lined a two-run single to centre.
The Goldeyes rallied for five runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull within 7-6. Singles from McCann and Romanski set up first and third with no outs. Reggie Abercrombie singled home McCann. After Heyman reached on an error to load the bases, Josh Mazzola slugged a grand slam home run to left. It was Mazzola’s fifth career grand slam, four of which have come in a Goldeyes’ uniform.
The game remained 7-6 in favour of Sioux Falls until the Canaries broke things open with a five-run eighth. Schmit doubled home Dan Motl, and was followed by an RBI single from Grayson. Bergin then hit a two-run homer to centre that made it 11-6. Later in the inning, Dean hit a two-out, solo home run down the left field line.
The Goldeyes cut the deficit to 12-8 in the bottom of the eighth on a two-out, two-run double from Mazzola who finished the game with six RBI. Mazzola now has 445 career RBI in the American Association, which ties him with John Allen for second on the league’s all-time list.
The Goldeyes came within one baserunner of bringing the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth before Miles Nordgren recorded the final out.
Nicco Blank (2-0) was credited with the win in relief, pitching two scoreless innings.
JC Sulbaran (0-2) started for the Goldeyes and took the loss, allowing six earned runs on five hits in four-plus innings. Sulbaran walked two and struck out two.
John Straka started for the Canaries and took a no-decision, allowing six runs, five earned, on eight hits in four-plus innings. Straka walked five and struck out five.
Jack Charleston pitched two shutout relief innings for Winnipeg, while PJ Browne worked one and one-third scoreless. Heyman finished with three hits.
The Goldeyes open a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Friday night. First pitch from Shaw Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by visiting www.ticketmaster.ca/Goldeyes, or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park.