(Photo Credit: Betsy Bissen, St. Paul Saints)
ST. PAUL, MN – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (18-17) lost 8-6 to the St. Paul Saints at CHS Field on Saturday night.
With the Goldeyes leading 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Saints rallied for three runs to take their first lead of the night. With two outs and no one on base, Danny Oh singled on a sharp groundball to centre field. Tanner Vavra then tied the game with a two-run home run that just cleared the high fence in right-centre. Nate Hanson followed with a double down the left field line and scored the go-ahead run on Brady Shoemaker’s single through the left side.
The Saints opened an 8-4 lead with three more runs in the sixth. Jon Kristoffersen doubled to right-centre with one out. After Oh walked, Vavra lined a single to right-centre to drive in Kristoffersen. An error on the play allowed Oh to score and sent Vavra to third. Vavra then scored when Hanson punched a single through the right side of a drawn in infield.
In the top of the seventh, the Goldeyes pulled within 8-5 when David Rohm singled to left with two outs and scored on Josh Romanski’s double off the top of the right field wall.
Mason Katz doubled to centre in the eighth and was driven home on a Wes Darvill line drive single to centre. Andrew Sohn walked to put the tying runs on base before Saints’ closer Seth Rosin managed a strikeout of Rohm to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth, Shawn Pleffner worked an eight-pitch, two-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate, but Rosin retired David Bergin on a line drive to deep centre that completed the four-out save opportunity.
Mark Hamburger (6-1) earned the win for the Saints, allowing five runs, two earned, on nine hits in six and two-thirds innings. Hamburger walked two and struck out three.
Zack Dodson (2-2) took the loss for the Goldeyes, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits in five and one-third. Dodson walked five and struck out five.
Rosin’s save was his eighth of the year.
The Goldeyes scored early off of Hamburger in the first. Rohm doubled off the centre field wall and scored the game’s first run when Anthony Gallas dropped Reggie Abercrombie’s flyball to right with two outs. A Pleffner single and a Bergin walked loaded the bases, and set up a two-run double off the wall in right-centre by Katz.
The Saints cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the second when Kevin Millar hit a two-run home run to left field. Millar, 45, was signed for one game. Earlier in the evening, the Saints honoured their 1993 Northern League championship club. Millar began his career with the Saints in 1993 before spending 12 years in the Major Leagues. Millar was a member of the Boston Red Sox’ 2004 World Series championship team, and was playing for the first time since 2010 when he appeared in six games for the Saints.
Sohn led off the top of the fifth with a solo home run to left-centre that extended the Goldeyes’ lead to 4-2. On the very next at bat, Rohm hit a ball off Hanson’s glove at third that appeared to carry fair down the left field line. The ball was ruled foul, and Hamburger retired the next three batters before the Saints took the lead in the bottom of the inning. Sohn is now hitting .380 in his last 26 games with 23 runs scored.
Sohn, Rohm, and Katz all finished with multiple hits. Daniel Minor worked one and two-thirds scoreless innings in relief of Dodson, and struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh. Mitchell Lambson also posted a scoreless inning of relief.
Prior to the game, the Goldeyes re-signed infielder Jordan Ebert who started at second base and recorded a hit. Ebert was signed by the Goldeyes in the off-season before having his contract purchased by the Colorado Rockies’ organization. Ebert appeared in two games for the Rookie Pioneer League’s Grand Junction Rockies before returning to the Goldeyes. Ebert hit .299 last season at two levels in the Kansas City Royals’ organization, and played four years of college baseball at Auburn University. The Goldeyes released rookie infielder Andrew Frazier . The Goldeyes’ roster currently stands at 21 players, including 11 pitchers and 10 position players.
The series concludes Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. Mikey O’Brien (3-2, 4.43) takes on right-hander Ryan Zimmerman (3-1, 3.51). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes return home on Tuesday, June 27th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats. Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.ticketmaster.ca, or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park.
For information on Winnipeg Goldeyes’ season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com