WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (14-10) beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats 4-1 at Shaw Park on Tuesday night.
Tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Eric Aguilera drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second when Reggie Abercrombie chopped a single through the left side. After Josh Mazzola sacrificed the runners ahead, the RailCats brought in left-handed reliever Jack Fowler to face Grant Heyman. Winnipeg countered with pinch hitter Jordan Ebert. Ebert hit a sacrifice fly down the left field line that scored Aguilera with the lead run. Kevin Garcia followed with a two-out, two-run home run to left to stretch the lead to 4-1.
Victor Capellan struck out two in a scoreless top of the ninth to earn his 12th save of the year.
“Pitching and defence is always going to give you a chance every night,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “We got a really good start from Mitch. It was five good, quiet innings, and the bullpen was great today.”
The Goldeyes struck first in the bottom of the third when Andrew Sohn cracked a leadoff home run to left.
In the top of the fifth, Alex Crosby doubled down the right field line with two outs and scored the tying run when Randy Santiesteban reached on an error charged to Mazzola at third.
Four Goldeyes’ relievers supported starting pitcher Mitchell Lambson with four shutout innings. Carter Johnson ran into a first and second, no-out jam in the sixth before striking out the next three batters in a row.
“Carter Johnson did a heck of a job,” said Forney. “He was able to show a lot of poise for a young kid, and made some pitches to get out of that situation without them scoring.”
Zach Hartman fanned Mitch Glasser to strand the go-ahead run on base in the seventh. It was just the sixth time Glasser has been struck out all season in 72 at bats. Cameron McVey pitched around a leadoff walk in the eighth, and struck out Reggie Wilson to leave the go-ahead run on third base. McVey (1-0) earned the win in relief.
Jeremy Holcombe (1-1) took the loss in relief for the RailCats (14-10).
Lambson took a no-decision, allowing one unearned run on five hits over five innings in his return to the club. Lambson walked none and struck out four.
“Kevin did a great job behind the plate calming me down at first,” said Lambson. “Getting back to Winnipeg, I was excited to get out and pitch. We played good defence and came through with some clutch hits in the end. I was really happy to come back. The fans here are great. They welcomed me back, and I’m really happy to be back.”
RailCats’ starter Jeff McKenzie also took a no-decision, allowing one earned run on seven hits in six and one-third innings. McKenzie walked three and struck out four.
Tucker Nathans robbed Colin Willis of a base hit in the top of the fourth. Nathans ranged wide to his left and onto the outfield grass before fielding a sharp groundball and throwing Willis out at first.
The three-game series concludes Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Charle Rosario (2-1, 2.81) faces right-hander Daniel Minor (3-2, 4.24). 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.