Goldeyes Drop Rubber Match in St. Paul, 5-4
ST. PAUL, MN – The St. Paul Saints topped Winnipeg 5-4 on Wednesday night to win the rubbermatch of their three-game set against the Goldeyes at CHS Field.
After falling behind early, Winnipeg scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 4-3 lead, but the Saints answered with a pair of their own to go up 5-4, and hold on for the win.
The Saints struck first in the bottom of the first. After Goldeyes starter Kevin McGovern walked two of the Saints first three batters, Jabari Henry smacked a single to left field with the bases loaded to score Dan Motl and Michael Lang to put the Saints up 2-0.
McGovern was able to get out of the inning without allowing another run, but things would get worse for Winnipeg in the top of the third inning when Jonathan Moroney, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a lead-off single in the first, had to leave the game after suffering a lower-body injury trying to beat out an infield hit.
McGovern settled in after the first inning and pitched scoreless second, third and fourth innings, but in the bottom of the fifth the Saints would extend their lead when Michael Lang ripped a two-out solo shot to left field, upping the St.Paul lead to 3-0.
The Goldeyes were finally able to solve Saints starting pitcher Landon Beck in the top of the sixth inning. In his first start since 2015, Beck held Winnipeg off the board for five innings until a Reggie Abercrombie triple scored Wes Darvill from first, getting the Goldeyes on the board trailing 3-1.
That would do it for Beck who was replaced by Chris Lee. Lee struck out Kyle Martin for the first out but next up was Willy Garcia who smashed a one-out opposite field two-run homer, – his 13th home run of the year – to tie the game at three. It’s the third time Garcia has gone long at CHS Field this season.
Dominic Ficociello was then walked and took second after a single from Adrian Marin. With two men on, Kevin Garcia gave the Goldeyes their first lead of the ball game with a two-out RBI single – his 28th RBI of the year, putting Winnipeg up 4-3.
The celebration was short-lived as the Saints tied things up with their first at bat in the bottom of the sixth, when Jeremy Martinez connected on his 9thhome run of the year.
St. Paul was able to get the eventual game-winning run just moments later when Blake Schmit hit an RBI single through the middle of the field to score Chesney Young to give the Saints a lead they’d never relinquish, going up 5-4.
Kevin McGovern (11-6) took the loss, allowing five hits, four earned while striking out one in 5.1 innings.
Landon Beck went 5.0 innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, striking out three while allowing four walks.
Tyler Garkow, Cameron McVey and Brandon Bingel combined for 2.2 scoreless innings to give the Goldeyes a chance, but Saints Tanner Kiest picked up his third save of the season, shutting Winnipeg down in a scoreless eighth and ninth inning to secure the massive win for the Saints.
With the loss, the Goldeyes now trail the Saints by two games in the North Division standings. The Saints also take a 6-5 head-to-head advantage in the season series, which is the first tie-breaker if the two clubs finish tied in the standings at the end of the regular season. The two clubs will meet in Winnipeg in just a few days’ time for a quick two-game series that will have to see the Goldeyes win both games to win the season series.
Before that pivotal two-game series the Goldeyes return home to welcome the Chicago Dogs for a three-game set beginning tomorrow night at Shaw Park. Advance tickets are on sale now by visiting www.goldeyes.com/tickets or by visiting the box office at Shaw Park.
For information on 2019 season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group tickets, call the Winnipeg Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com.
by Bill Burfoot