Matulovich Outing Spoiled as Goldeyes Blanked
By Doug Greenwald, Winnipeg Goldeyes
SIOUX CITY, IA – Sioux City Explorers (43-38) starting pitcher Mitchell Verburg (5-3) worked a season-high 7 2/3 innings (personal high) and struck out six as he led his team to a 2-0 win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes (34-47) on Tuesday night at Mercy Field at Lewis & Clark Park. It was the eighth time this season the Goldeyes were shutout and the sixth pitched shutout for the Explorers. Winnipeg has been shutout twice in Sioux City this season.
Verburg allowed five hits and walked two. The Goldeyes only once had two runners on at the same time while never getting a runner to third. The only Winnipeg threat was in the top of the fourth inning getting the first two runners on, but a strikeout and a double play thwarted that.
In the bottom of the fourth, Sioux City took advantage. Third baseman Matt Lloyd led off with a single. Two batters later, right fielder Vince Fernandez (15) lofted a deep fly ball to right-centre field which left the yard. It was the first homer for Sioux City since game one of a doubleheader at Gary on August 6th.
The Goldeyes had the tying run at the plate in the eighth but shortstop Andy Armstrong despite having three of the five Winnipeg hits struck out against the first Explorers reliever Brandon Brosher. Sean Rackoski (17) pitched a perfect ninth for the save. He has three saves against Winnipeg this year.
Joey Matulovich (4-9) despite the loss pitched well. The Winnipeg starter allowed two runs in six innings. He gave up four hits, one walk, and struck out two. He has 97 strikeouts this season which is third in the American Association. The right-hander has been the losing pitcher in both Sioux City shutouts this season against Winnipeg. Matulovich twice has allowed a homer this year to Fernandez.
Game two of this scheduled three-game series is Wednesday night at Mercy Field beginning at 7:05. Left-hander RJ Martinez (5-3) will get the ball for Winnipeg against Sioux City right-hander Heitor Tokar (3-2).
Winnipeg third baseman Dayson Croes had an eighth inning single. He’s hit safely in his last ten games (18-40, .450), which is his third hitting streak this year of at least ten games. Croes has hits in 19-of-his-last 20 games (32-79, .405). His average is .355.
All of Armstrong’s hits were against Verburg. The two were college teammates and roommates at Oregon State University. It was his ninth three-hit game this season.
Nolan LaMere pitched two scoreless innings. He’s worked 4 1/3 consecutive shutout innings over his last four games.
Right fielder Max Murphy drew a walk. He’s reached base safely in his last eight games.