WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes lost 6-5 to the Chicago Dogs at Shaw Park on Sunday afternoon.
With the Goldeyes leading 4-2 in the top of the fifth inning, the Dogs rallied for three runs to take their first lead of the series. Dalton Blaser singled through the left side leading off, stole second, and scored on a Craig Maddox single through the right side. Matt Dean followed with a two-run home run to centre field that put the Dogs in front 5-4.
After Dogs’ starter Josh Goossen-Brown worked a scoreless bottom of the fifth, the Dogs extended their lead to 6-4 in the top of the sixth on a two-out, RBI double to left-centre from Maddox.
Winnipeg pulled within one run in the bottom of the seventh. Andrew Sohn was hit by a pitch leading off and advanced to second on a comebacker from Victor Cruzado. Two batters later, Reggie Abercrombie ripped a single to left that scored Sohn.
Josh Blanco, Kenny Mathews, and Cameron McVey each worked a scoreless inning of relief to keep the Goldeyes within one. However, Taylor Grover pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth, and Kaohi Downing struck out the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game. Downing picked up his third save of the year.
“They handed us three runs in the first inning with the four errors, and you have to capitalize on that,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “Unfortunately, when you’re out playing defence for a long time, you can get your head out of the game and you aren’t able to get back in offensively. That was the situation that happened today.”
The Goldeyes took a 3-0 lead in the first. Singles from Cruzado and Reynaldo Rodriguez, plus a wild pitch from Goossen-Brown, set up second and third with one out. Abercrombie reached on a throwing error by shortstop Michael Baca that allowed Cruzado to score the game’s first run. After a second error by Baca loaded the bases, Josh Mazzola lined a sacrifice fly to centre that made it 2-0. Abercrombie then scored on a steal of third that resulted in an errant throw to second by catcher Michael Falsetti.
Shawon Dunston Jr. led off the top of the second with a double down the right field line and scored the Dogs’ first run on an errant throw by Goldeyes’ starter Edwi Carl following a bunt attempt from Zach Racusin.
In the bottom of the second, Sohn doubled down the left field line with one out, and scored two batters later on a two-out single from Abercrombie.
Chicago cut Winnipeg’s lead to 4-2 in the top of the fourth when Baca singled home Dunston Jr. with two outs.
Goossen-Brown (1-2) picked up the win for the Dogs, allowing four runs, two earned, on five hits over six innings. Goossen-Brown walked two and struck out three.
Zach Hartman (0-2) was charged with the loss in relief for the Goldeyes.
Carl took a no-decision, allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits in three and two-thirds innings. Carl walked two and struck out four.
Rookie right-hander Carter Johnson made his professional debut in the top of the sixth, allowing the Maddox double and recording his first career strikeout.
“I thought he pitched well,” said Forney on Johnson’s debut. “The situation didn’t faze him, and he was able to throw some good pitches under a bit of pressure.”
Brandon Bingel worked two-thirds of a scoreless inning in relief of Hartman. Abercrombie finished with three RBI.
The Goldeyes open a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Monday morning. First pitch is scheduled for 11:05 a.m. Alex Boshers (0-3, 4.50) faces left-hander Lars Liguori (1-1, 3.10). 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.