ST. PAUL, MN – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (28-24) lost 10-9 to the St. Paul Saints at CHS Field on Friday night.
With the Goldeyes leading 9-7 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Saints rallied for three runs. Chris Baker hit a game-tying, two-run home run to left. On the next pitch, Brady Shoemaker hit a solo shot into the Goldeyes’ bullpen in left to give the Saints (34-19) their fourth lead of the night at 10-9.
The Goldeyes pushed the tying run into scoring position in the top of the ninth before Todd Van Steensel recorded the final out to pick up his 13th save.
Jordan Jess (4-0) earned the win in relief for St. Paul, while Marcus Crescentini (4-3) took the loss for Winnipeg.
The Saints took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Shoemaker doubled down the left field line to score Baker.
The Goldeyes responded in the top of the second. With two outs and no one on base, Alex Perez and Kevin Garcia drew back-to-back walks. Tyler Hill followed with a line drive single to left that deflected off the glove of a diving Baker at shortstop. Perez scored the tying run, and the single extended Hill’s hitting streak to 13 games.
The Saints re-took the lead in the bottom of the second on a two-run home run to left-centre from John Silviano.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Saints loaded the bases with one out and took a 4-1 lead when Baker beat out a potential inning-ending double play. Shoemaker followed with a two-out, RBI single that made it 5-1.
Wes Darvill led off the top of the fifth with a single to right. After James Harris walked, Kyle Martin singled through the right side to load the bases with no outs. Willy Garcia was next, and crushed a grand slam home run onto the concourse in left-centre field that tied the game at 5-5.
The Saints went in front for a third time with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Dan Motl singled home Silviano with two outs, while Chesny Young came home on a wild pitch.
Winnipeg nearly took the lead in the top of the sixth. With first and second and two outs, Martin launched a ball off the very top of the wall in right-centre. Hill scored on the play before Harris was cut down at the plate for the final out on a relay by second baseman Josh Allen.
The score remained 7-6 Saints into the top of the eighth when Darvill singled through the right side with one out. Darvill stole second, and after Karch Kowalczyk struck out Harris, Jess was brought in from the bullpen. Martin hit a popup behind the pitcher’s mound that was dropped by Allen, and allowed Darvill to score the tying run. Willy Garcia followed with a two-out, two-run home run to right centre that put Winnipeg in front 9-7.
Ryan Johnson started for the Goldeyes and took a no-decision, allowing five earned runs on six hits in three and one-third innings. Johnson walked three and struck out none.
Eddie Medina started for the Saints and also took a no-decision, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in five innings. Medina walked five and struck out five.
Willy Garcia finished with two home runs and six RBI. Hill, Darvill, Harris, Martin, and Willy Garcia each had two hits.
Prior to the game, Dominic Ficociello was activated from the Disabled List and reached base twice in five plate appearances. The Goldeyes placed left-handed pitcher Spencer Herrmann on the Disabled List, retroactive to July 9th.
Game two of the three-game series is Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Kevin McGovern (7-3, 4.29) faces right-hander Dustin Crenshaw (4-3, 4.46). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca Coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. with Around the Association.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes return home on Tuesday, July 16th when they host the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park. Advance tickets are on sale now by visiting www.goldeyes.com/tickets or by visiting the box office at Shaw Park.
For information on 2019 season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group tickets, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com