GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – The Winnipeg Goldeyes beat the Texas AirHogs 3-2 at AirHogs Stadium on Monday night.
Trailing 2-1 in the top of the third, Kevin Garcia singled to centre on a two-strike count leading off, and went to third two batters later when Andrew Sohn drove a double to left-centre. Victor Cruzado then singled up the middle to score Garcia and Sohn with the tying and go-ahead runs.
Winnipeg’s pitching staff protected the one-run lead through the remainder of the night. Starter Shane Dawson picked up the win, allowing two earned runs on six hits over six and two-thirds innings. Dawson walked one, struck out seven, and at one point retired seven batters in a row. Dawson threw just 86 pitches.
“Shane Dawson was really good,” said Goldeyes’ hitting coach Tom Vaeth. “He was a bulldog out there on the mound. When he got himself in a little bit of trouble, he really bore down and made some quality pitches to get himself out of those spots.”
In the bottom of the fifth, Dawson picked off Chen Chen after the AirHogs’ third baseman drew a leadoff walk. In the sixth, Texas put the tying run on third with one out before Dawson struck out Stewart Ijames and Ryan Wagner back-to-back to end the inning.
“Really good (in the sixth),” said Vaeth. “Good sequence. Shane really spotted up and did a good job working his way out of that. Luckily, we were able to get just enough offence early and shut the door the rest of the way.”
Zach Hartman relieved Dawson with two outs in the seventh and retired former Goldeye Casio Grider on a fly ball down the right field line that stranded the tying run on second.
Jack Charleston pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth, working through an error and a catcher’s interference call to strand the bases loaded. The inning also included a batter’s interference call during a stolen base attempt of third by Dillon Thomas in which Wagner was initially ruled out. After the Goldeyes returned to the dugout, Thomas was then sent back to second base and Wagner’s at bat continued.
“It’s tough to go off the field and go back out there,” said Vaeth, “but Jack was another guy that made quality pitches to hold that lead and preserve it for us.”
Victor Capellan earned the save, retiring the side in order in the bottom of the ninth. Capellan induced a groundout to third from former Major Leaguer Greg Golson for the first out in the ninth. Reynaldo Rodriguezmade a key scoop on a one-hop throw from third base to complete the play.
Rodriguez gave Winnipeg a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, driving in Cruzado with a sacrifice fly. Cruzado reached third on a triple that hit the top of the right-centre field wall.
In the bottom of the first, Grider doubled to left-centre, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly from Mong Weiqiang. Ijames followed with an RBI single that drove in Thomas to give the AirHogs a brief 2-1 lead.
Gan Quan started for Texas and took the loss, allowing two earned runs on seven hits in five and one-third innings. Quan walked two and struck out six.
The series continues with an early 11:05 a.m. start on Tuesday. Alex Boshers (0-1, 6.75) makes his first start of the season opposite AirHogs’ right-hander Sun Jianzeng (0-0, 0.00). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca.