Murphy Powers Goldeyes to Series Victory
By Doug Greenwald, Winnipeg Goldeyes
WINNIPEG, MB – If only Winnipeg Goldeyes (32-45) right fielder Max Murphy (22) could play every game against the Lincoln Saltdogs (37-39). Murphy belted a three-run homer, his league best 22nd, an RBI single and had four RBIs helping the Goldeyes to an 8-4 win on Wednesday night at Shaw Park. This season against Lincoln, Murphy has six homers and 20 RBIs. Overall, he has 68 RBIs which is second in the American Association.
Murphy’s clout was set up in the fourth inning when third baseman Dayson Croes walked and shortstop Andy Armstrong singled. Murphy hit the first pitch from Lincoln starter David Holmberg (1-5) on a high arching drive to right field and that made it 3-0.
Lincoln got two runs back in the fifth but Winnipeg answered with a run after centre fielder Tra Holmes was hit by a pitch. He stole second and moved to third when Saltdogs catcher Luke Roskam threw the ball into centre field. Croes followed with a sacrifice fly to left.
The Goldeyes broke the game open in the sixth scoring four. Croes had a two-run bases loaded single, Armstrong followed with a safety squeeze along the first base grass, and Murphy delivered a single.
Winnipeg was up 8-2 going to the ninth. Samuel Adames in a non-save situation came in and walked leadoff man – pinch hitter – Zane Zurbrugg. The first five Saltdogs reached. This included an RBI infield single by third baseman Luis Roman, and a full-count bases loaded walk by left fielder Aaron Takacs. Two runs were in before anyone was retired and the tying run was at the plate with the Goldeyes up 8-4. Lincoln shortstop Drew Devine with one swing could have tied but instead he hit a ball back to Adames, who began a 1-2-3 double play. Second baseman Nate Samson made the last out of the game by grounding to shortstop.
RJ Martinez (5-3) earned the win–his first as a starter this year. The Goldeyes lefty went 5 2/3 innings, issued one hit, two runs (both earned). He walked six and fanned four. Holmberg lasted five innings (plus), allowed five hits, six runs (five earned) while walking three and striking out two.
The Goldeyes have won three-of-their last four and will try for the three-game sweep on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Shaw Park. The probable for Lincoln is right-hander Zach Keenan (3-4) against Winnipeg left-hander Travis Seabrooke (5-5).
It was Murphy’s ninth three-hit game this season. Max has three games this year of at least four RBIs, all against Lincoln. His five-RBI game against the Saltdogs was in Lincoln on June 26th.
The six walks allowed by RJ Martinez match James Varela for most by a Goldeyes this season.
Croes string of five straight multi-hit games came to an end but he finished 1-3 with a single, walk, run scored and three RBIs. He’s hit safely in his last six games (11-24, .458), and has hits in 15-of-his-last-16 (25-63, .397). His .350 mark is third best in the American Association. Wednesday was his third three-RBI game this season.
Reliever Josh Vincent made his third appearance back from a six-week stay on the injured list. It was his first game on the mound at Shaw Park since June 9th against Kansas City. He pitched two shutout innings.