Maybe it was Price Kendall’s old-school knee socks or just his indomitable drive to keep playing and win, no matter what his achey leg might say.
Kendall drove in the Goldeyes' game-winning run on a suicide squeeze, scoring Amos Ramon with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, to lift Winnipeg (38-27) to a 2-1 victory over the Sioux Falls Pheasants (29-36) on Friday night at Shaw Park before a crowd of 5,325.
Kendall has been leading the team in leg ailments since the season-opening road trip, when he first hurt his right ankle. He's incurred several other problems with the leg.
"I know myself, personally, I come out here ready to play 120 games every year, whether I’m hurt or not, sick, that’s what I come here to do and I know everybody on this team comes with that mindset," said Kendall, who wore the high socks for a third straight game as the Goldeyes ended a five-game losing skid at home. "It’s up to each individual to just dig deep down inside and continue to play as hard as we can."
The Goldeyes and the Pheasants will meet again today at 6 p.m. for the second of a three-game set. It was the sixth straight loss for Sioux Falls.
Winnipeg trails the first-place Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks by four games in the North division.
In Friday’s game, Winnipeg's Kyle Day played catcher, giving a rest to Luis Alen, who had played behind the plate in 60 of 64 previous games, but took that rest playing first base.
Both teams scored a run in the second inning. Sioux Falls’ designated hitter Cristian Guerrero scored on a single by catcher Al Quintana. Winnipeg replied with right-fielder Josh Mazzola’s ground-out scoring Alen.
The winning pitcher was Goldeyes reliever Brian Beuning, whose ERA dropped to 0.68 after he played three innings, allowing no hits and striking out two.