WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (49-33) split a double header against the St. Paul Saints at Shaw Park on Wednesday night, winning the opener 4-0 and dropping the nightcap 7-6.
In the opener, Goldeyes’ starter Kevin McGovern (6-3) pitched a complete game, two-hit shutout in the 4-0 win. McGovern carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, which was broken up on a two-out, line drive single to left-centre from Bryson Myles. One batter earlier, Willie Cabrera saved the no-hit bid with a sliding catch in right field to rob Tony Caldwell.
McGovern finished the game on just 76 pitches, walked two, and struck out six. It was McGovern’s second complete game in his last three starts, and the second shutout of his professional career.
Offensively, the Goldeyes supported McGovern in the second when Casio Grider hit a two-out, solo home run to left.
Winnipeg added three more in the bottom of the fifth. Grider drew a leadoff walk, took second on Wes Darvill’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on a line drive single down the left field line from Carlton Tanabe. Two batters later, Josh Romanski hit a two-out, two-run home run to left field to stretch the lead to 4-0.
McGovern ended the game on a groundball double play off the bat of Caldwell.
Saints’ starter Eric Veglahn (3-4) went the distance in the loss for his first career complete game. Veglahn allowed four earned runs on three hits in six innings, walking three and striking out three.
It marked the first time the Saints had been shutout in 2016.
The Goldeyes fell just shy of another late comeback in game two. Trailing 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Reggie Abercrombie singled and was followed by a walk from Romanski. All-star closer Ryan Rodebaugh relieved starter Robert Coe (10-2). David Rohm singled up the middle to score Abercrombie and cut the lead to 7-3. After Darvill singled through the right side to load the bases with no outs and bring the tying run to the plate, Rodebaugh nearly escaped the inning with limited damage by retiring the next two hitters without allowing a run to score. However, Maikol Gonzalez smacked a three-run triple to right-centre that pulled the Goldeyes within one run and put the tying run on third base.
Before Adam Heisler could try and tie the game, a heavy thunderstorm forced a one-hour and seven-minute rain delay. A flurry of Goldeyes’ staff members and players helped get the field in working order. When play resumed, Rodebaugh retired Heisler on a flyball down the left field line to end the inning.
Brandon Shimo recorded two outs in the top of the seventh, but the arrival of a second storm forced the umpires to call the game. With five innings already completed, the Saints earn credit for the rain-shortened, six-inning win.
Edwin Carl (8-6) took the loss for the Goldeyes, allowing six earned runs on five hits in four innings. Carl walked five and struck out four.
Coe earned the win for the Saints, allowing four earned runs on three hits in five-plus innings. Coe walked six and struck out one.
The Saints took the lead in the top of the first when Caldwell drew a two-out, bases loaded walk. Myles followed with a two-run double down the left field line that hit the chalk.
Tanner Vavra’s groundout in the second brought in Breland Almadova from third to make it 4-0.
The Goldeyes cut the lead in half in the third on a two-out, two-run homer from Cabrera.
St. Paul answered back with two in the fourth on an Alonzo Harris RBI single and a sacrifice fly from Vavra.
Tony Thomas hit a two-out, RBI single in the sixth to drive what proved to be the decisive run.
The series concludes Thursday morning at 11:05 a.m. Mikey O’Brien (9-4, 4.64) faces former Major Leaguer Dan Johnson (4-2, 3.41). Johnson, who has 57 home runs during 10 Major League seasons, is serving as a knuckleball pitcher for the Saints.
Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.goldeyes.com, or stopping by any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park. For information on season tickets, 10-Game Mini Packs, or group outings, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-2273.