ROSEMONT, IL – The Winnipeg Goldeyes beat the Chicago Dogs 6-3 at Impact Field on Friday night.
Grant Heyman ignited the offence two batters into the game with a solo home run to right field. The homer extended Heyman’s hitting streak to 10 consecutive games.
In the top of the third, Heyman led off with a double to left-centre. A Reynaldo Rodriguez walk and a Reggie Abercrombie single to left loaded the bases with no outs. Kevin Garcia then drew a four-pitch, bases loaded walk that forced in Heyman to make it 2-0. Josh Mazzola followed with a two-run double off the top of the left-centre field wall. Two batters later, Jordan Ebert hit a two-out, RBI double to right-centre that scored Mazzola and made it 5-0.
“It was good to jump ahead early,” said Goldeyes’ hitting coach Tom Vaeth. “Heyman starting us off with a big home run, and putting the four-spot up in the third. Dawson was able to work out of some jams when he got in a little bit of trouble, and we played some good defence tonight. Matt McCann had a really good defensive night.”
Mazzola played in his 335th consecutive American Association game, which is a new league record. Mazzola’s streak began on August 9th, 2014 versus Wichita. The previous record belonged to John Allen who played in 334 consecutive games for the Fort Worth Cats from 2007-11.
“He does a good job taking care of his body,” said Vaeth on Mazzola. “He’s still in pretty good shape for someone that’s 32 years old. He finds a way to stay in the lineup and finds ways to help his club so that his manager feels good putting him in the lineup every day.”
The Dogs loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fourth and scratched out two runs on a Dalton Blaser single through the left side and a Wilfredo Rodriguez sacrifice fly.
Matt McCann drew a leadoff walk in the sixth, stole second base, and scored on a two-out, RBI single up the middle by Rodriguez. Rodriguez has also hit safely in 10 straight.
The Goldeyes combined for seven stolen bases in the win, including two apiece by Rodriguez and Ebert. The seven steals are one shy of the franchise single-game record set in June of 2008.
“Their pitchers were behind in the count, so a lot of their focus was on the guy at the plate,” said Vaeth. “We were able to get some good jumps. It’s good to finally get our running game going, but you can only do that when you’re on the good side of the scoreboard.”
Jonathan Moroney led off the bottom of the eighth with a solo home run to provide the game’s final margin.
Victor Capellan worked a perfect bottom of the ninth to earn his sixth save of the year.
Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Shane Dawson (3-0) earned the win, allowing two earned runs on five hits in five innings. Dawson walked none and struck out two.
Connor Root (0-2) started for Chicago and took the loss, allowing five earned runs on five hits in two and one-third innings. Root walked three and struck out three.
Zach Hartman and Josh Blanco combined for two shutout relief innings over the sixth and seventh.
The series continues Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Alex Boshers (0-2, 4.50) takes on right-hander Michael Wagner (0-1, 4.82). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.caCoverage begins at 6:00 p.m. with Around the Association.
The Goldeyes return home for six-game homestand on Friday, June 8th when they host the Dogs. 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.