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Fish battered, but can still clinch wild-card berth

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The Winnipeg Goldeyes are on a two-game losing skid after dropping a 10-1 decision to the Sioux City Explorers on Thursday night at Shaw Park but the Goldeyes can still clinch the league's wild-card playoff berth with some better fortune on Friday night.

The Goldeyes' magic number is two and they have a three–game lead on the St. Paul Saints for the wild card after St. Paul also lost on Thursday night.

The Goldeyes host Sioux City on Friday at 7 p.m. in the final game of the four-game series with Winnipeg lefty Chris Salamida (5-6, 3.86) and Sioux City’s Jason Jarvis (7-8, 4.27) expected to start. A Winnipeg win and a St. Paul loss on Friday night would put the Goldeyes into post-season play against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks who visit Winnipeg on Saturday, Sunday and Monday to conclude the regular season.

In Thursday's game, the Goldeyes (54-42) were out-hit 18-7 by Sioux City (43-53) and scored their only run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sioux City left-handed pitcher Richard Salazar pitched a one-run complete game and the Explorers hit three home runs. Winnipeg's Ace Walker (9-5) took the loss.

Now the Winnipeg club needs to find a way to put the brakes on a two-game losing skid, find a stopper on the mound and get the offence revved up. The Goldeyes will be busy in their last four games of the American Association regular season.

The best thing for Thursday’s crowd of 6,894 was they all went home with coupons for free pancakes after Winnipeg reliever Jack Van Leur struck out "pancake batter" Wally Backman, Jr. in his sixth at-bat.

The Goldeyes were being shut out 7-0 until the bottom of the seventh inning when third baseman Amos Ramon’s single drove in designated hitter Barbaro Canizares. But the Explorers came back in the eighth with three runs, including a two-run double from Sioux City right-fielder Peter Barrows, to lead 10-1.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPAshleyPrest

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