WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes beat the Sioux Falls Canaries 6-3 at Shaw Park on Sunday afternoon.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Reynaldo Rodriguez lined a single to left field leading off, stole second base, and scored the tying run when David Bergin doubled to left-centre. After Grant Heyman’s chopper up the middle advanced Bergin to third, Kevin Garcia lined a sacrifice fly to centre that gave Winnipeg its first lead of the day.
“Our situational hitting got better,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “We didn’t do a good job of it early in the game, but we kept giving ourselves chances, and finally got some guys to come through in some big situations.”
Zach Hartman and Josh Blanco combined on a perfect top of the eighth in relief of Goldeyes’ starter Shane Dawson.
Jordan Ebert opened the bottom of the inning with a line drive single to right-centre. After Andrew Sohn walked on four pitches, a wild pitch moved runners to second and third with no outs. Matt McCann singled to centre to drive in Ebert, and the Goldeyes’ stretched the lead to 6-3 when Sohn scored on a Rodriguez fielder’s choice.
Victor Capellan recorded three consecutive popups in the top of the ninth to earn his fourth save of the year.
Dawson (2-0) picked up the win, allowing three earned runs on eight hits over seven innings. Dawson walked none and struck out five, while throwing 95 pitches. Dawson also helped his cause by picking off Aaron Gretz from first base in the second inning and Blake Schmit in the fifth.
“Shane did a good job,” said Forney. “He gave us seven good innings today. Part of being a good pitcher is being able to control the running game and field your position, and he does a good job of that.”
Chris Jacobs doubled home Chris Grayson from first base with two outs in the top of the first to give the Canaries an early 1-0 lead. In the top of the second, Tyler Wolfe singled to centre with one out, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on a single to right-centre by Gretz that made it 2-0.
Heyman drew a two-out, bases loaded walk in the third to cut the Canaries’ lead in half.
In the bottom of the fourth, Ebert doubled to left-centre with one out. After Sohn was retired, McCann beat out an infield single on a slow roller to the right side that extended the inning. Victor Cruzado followed with a line drive single to left that scored Ebert with the tying run.
“That was just me knowing my role on the team, and knowing that my strength is my speed,” said McCann on his fourth-inning single. “It was just a situation where I tried to put the ball in play, get on base, and make something happen.”
The Canaries went ahead 3-2 in the top of the seventh when Burt Reynolds led off the inning with a home run.
Ryan Fritze (1-1) took the loss for Sioux Falls, allowing four earned runs over two innings of relief.
James Patterson started for the Canaries and took a no-decision, allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits over four innings. Patterson walked four and struck out two.
Defensively, Cruzado made a lunging, basket-style grab in deep centre field to rob Dan Motl of extra bases in the sixth. Garcia cut down Grayson on a delayed steal attempt in the third, and has thrown out four potential base stealers over the first nine games of the season.
The Goldeyes welcome the Lincoln Saltdogs for a four-game series beginning Monday night. First pitch at Shaw Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Alex Boshers (0-1, 5.14) starts for Winnipeg. Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.ticketmaster.ca/Goldeyes, or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park.