Mikey O’Brien Tosses Winnipeg Goldeyes to 9-3 Victory
In just three-days, the Winnipeg Goldeyes cut their 7.5-game deficit in the North Division of the American Association down to just 4.5. The Goldeyes took four of the five-games from the St. Paul Saints, including Wednesday’s late morning tilt where Mikey O’Brien held the visitors to just 2-hits in 7-innings to lead Winnipeg to the 9-3 victory.
The game got off on the right foot for the St. Paul Saints. Alonzo Harris was the first batter of the contest and he took a 2-0 pitch from the Goldeyes starter and ripped it for a solo homer to make it 1-0. That was Harris 13th homer of the season. It was a great beginning to the game but it would go downhill from there.
Dan Johnson looked good in the first, but a lead-off walk to Reggie Abercrombie in the bottom of the second opened the door to a big rally. Abercrombie stole second and moved to third on a base hit by David Rohm. The Saints starter retired the next two batters and it looked like Abercrombie may be left stranded at third, but Ridge Hoopii-Haslam drilled a 1-2 pitch from Johnson for a three-run homer, his fourth homerun of the season. That gave Winnipeg the 3-1 lead and they would not relinquish it.
In the third they extended that lead. Adam Heisler started the frame with a single and moved to second on his 21st stolen base of the season. A sacrifice moved him to third and Johnson then issued back-to-back walks to Josh Romanski and Abercrombie. Rohm’s sacrifice fly brought in Heisler and it was 4-1.
In the fifth, the Winnipeg Goldeyes took a commanding lead. Heisler was hit by a pitch to get things started and he moved to second on a single by Maikol Gonzalez. After Heilser was thrown out trying to steal third, Romanski walked for the second time in the game. Two batters later Rohm walked and the bases were loaded with two outs. Casio Grider then drilled a ball to the wall in center that he legged into a double. All three runners scored and it was 7-1.
That was plenty enough support for O’Brien (10-4). Following a two-out hit-by-pitch in the first, the Winnipeg starter retired the next 17 batters he faced. He had allowed just one-hit through the first six frames and was absolutely dominating the Saints.
In the seventh, his run would finally come to an end. Trever Adams became the first base runner since the first when he drew a one out walk. Two batters later Tony Caldwell homered to left field to make it 7-3. That was Caldwell’s 11th homer of the year. Any momentum that this would bring was short-lived.
In the bottom of the eighth, Winnipeg added two more runs. Darvill walked with one out and scored on a double by Hoopii-Haslam. Two batters later Heisler hit a sacrifice fly that scored the runner and it was 9-3. That would be the final.
Johnson (4-3) took the loss. Caldwell and Harris were the only two St. Paul players to record a hit.
The Winnipeg offense was led by Hoopii-Haslam who was 2-3 with 2-runs and 3-RBI. Rohm scored twice and Grider drove in three.
The St. Paul Saints now head to Fargo-Moorhead to take on the RedHawks. Friday night’s game is scheduled for 7:00.
By Robert Pannier