WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (28-36) beat the Texas AirHogs (17-45) 8-2 at Shaw Park on Wednesday night.
Goldeyes’ starting pitcher JC Sulbaran (1-2) carried a perfect game into the sixth inning and earned his first win as a member of the Goldeyes. Sulbaran retired the first 16 batters to face him before Luan Chenchen lined a single to centre with one out in the top of the sixth.
“It was a great game,” said Sulbaran. I felt good. Great defence with me and a great catcher. (Tyler Baker) called the game, and I just followed him the whole time. It felt good to get my first win in a Goldeyes’ uniform.”
The Goldeyes supported Sulbaran with eight early runs, including a six-run bottom of the second. Grant Heyman led off the second with an opposite field, line drive single to left. Two batters later, Tyler Baker hit a two-run home run that just cleared the wall in right. Matt McCann restarted the Goldeyes’ offence with a bunt single along the third base line. After Josh Romanski hit a bloop single down the left field line, Reggie Abercrombie crushed a three-run homer to left that made it 4-0. It was Abercrombie’s 800th career base hit in the American Association. Abercrombie’s next hit will tie David Espinosa for the league’s career record. Tucker Nathans added a two-out, solo home run to right that capped the inning. Both Abercrombie and Nathans have homered in three consecutive games.
“Being supported offensively is one of the best things,” said Sulbaran. “As a pitcher, you want to go out there and do your best. They’re doing their best for you. That’s why it’s a team. When they’re hitting like that, it’s always awesome to pitch.”
In the bottom of the third, Baker singled through the right side with one out and scored from first when McCann pulled a double into the left field corner. McCann took third on a Romanski groundout and scored the Goldeyes’ eighth run on a wild pitch from AirHogs’ starter Sun Jianzeng (1-5).
Jianzeng took the loss, allowing eight earned runs on eight hits in three innings. Jianzeng walked two and struck out two.
Texas got on the board in the top of the seventh on a two-out, RBI single from Chen Junpeng.
Sulbaran allowed one earned run on just three hits over seven innings in the winning effort. Sulbaran walked one and struck out six. Goldeyes’ starting pitchers have allowed a combined three earned runs in 25.0 innings over the last three games.
PJ Browne closed out the game with two innings in relief of Sulbaran. Corelle Prime accounted for the AirHogs’ final run with a two-out, solo home run to left in the top of the ninth.
Texas’ bullpen combined for five shutout innings in relief of Jianzeng.
The series concludes Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Kevin McGovern (3-7, 3.94) faces right-hander Meng Weiqiang (4-5, 5.05). 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.