WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (27-36) beat the Texas AirHogs 13-0 at Shaw Park on Tuesday night.
Goldeyes’ starter Tyler Herron (5-7) pitched a complete game, seven-hit shutout. Herron walked one, struck out five, and threw 112 pitches. After escaping a bases loaded, two-out jam in the first, Herron retired 11 batters in a row and 13 of the next 14. It was Herron’s 12th career complete game, and his fifth career shutout.
The Goldeyes scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning to take control of the game. Matt McCann walked leading off and advanced to second when Josh Romanski singled through the right side. Reggie Abercrombie followed with a three-run home run to left-centre. After there were two outs and no one on base, consecutive singles from Grant Heyman, Jordan Ebert, and Tyler Baker made it 5-0.
“This win means a lot for me,” said Herron. “It’s the first time I’ve thrown a complete game in a long time. I’ve known a couple guys on this team for a long time, so it’s been exciting working with them. Hopefully we can make a push.”
Mazzola singled home Romanski with two outs in the second, and the Goldeyes stretched the lead to 7-0 in the fourth when Ebert scored on an Abercrombie fielder’s choice.
Winnipeg added five more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Nathans and Josh McAdams opened the inning with walks. Two batters later, Ebert doubled to left-centre to drive home Nathans. McAdams scored on a wild pitch before Baker lined a single to right to bring in Ebert. After McCann doubled down the left field line, Baker scored on a Romanski groundout to second. Abercrombie capped the inning with a two-out, RBI double down the left field line.
“Herron came out and did a good job,” said Abercrombie. “He set the tempo pretty good. We went out there, gave him a couple runs, and then he shut it down. If we can continue to go out and help the pitchers win, then we’re going to be alright.”
In the bottom of the sixth, Baker singled home McAdams with two outs for the Goldeyes’ 13th and final run.
Zhu Jinghao (0-5) started for the AirHogs (17-44) and took the loss, allowing six earned runs on eight hits in two innings. Jinghao walked one and struck out six.
For a second straight game, all nine Goldeyes’ starters had at least one base hit. Romanski, Ebert, and Baker each had three. Abercrombie picked up two hits, and now trails David Espinosa by just two for the American Association’s all-time record. Abercrombie also finished with five RBI.
The Goldeyes shined defensively as well. McCann planted deep in the hole to field a groundball at shortstop that retired Chen Junpeng leading off the second. Abercrombie robbed Chu Fujia with a sprinting catch in centre field to take away extra bases in the third. Ebert made a tumbling catch inside the left field line to rob Li Ning and keep the shutout intact in the top of the eighth.
Game two of the three-game series is Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. JC Sulbaran (0-2, 9.75) takes on right-hander Sun Jianzeng (1-4, 6.05). 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.