It was such a tough night for the Winnipeg Goldeyes on Friday at Shaw Park, skipper Rick Forney didn’t even stick around for it.
Of course, it wasn’t his choice, as Forney was tossed out of the baseball game for arguing a call at first base in the top of the sixth inning, and his team was tossed around the park by the Wichita Wingnuts (46-33) who defeated the Goldeyes (46-32) by an 8-3 score before a crowd of 6,096.
The Goldeyes saw their four-game winning streak come to an end but can still win the series. Winnipeg and Wichita meet again Saturday at 6 p.m. for the final game of the three-game set. Starting pitchers are expected to be Chris Salamida (3-5, 4.48) for Winnipeg and Wichita lefty Anthony Capra (1-1, 5.28).
The Wingnuts, who had a field day out-hitting the Goldeyes 15-3, lead the Central division. The Goldeyes, who committed three errors, continue to hold the American Association’s wild-card playoff berth, now with a 3.5-game margin over the Kansas City T-Bones.
Injuries have plagued the Goldeyes’ position players and, just when some players were starting to heal up a bit, it appeared shortstop Price Kendall hurt his foot again during a pickoff at second base.
Goldeyes pitcher Ace Walker (6-4) took the loss.
The teams were tied 1-1 after three innings but in the top of the fourth, the Wingnuts scored four runs on five hits to take a 5-1 lead.
The Goldeyes got two runs in the bottom of the fourth when Yurendell de Caster was driven in by catcher Luis Alen’s double and Jon Weber scored on a put-out of first baseman Josh Mazzola.
The beatdown continued in the top of the sixth inning as Wichita put up another three runs and the Goldeyes committed a pair of errors.
Price Kendall got Winnipeg’s first hit leading off the first inning while Amos Ramon’s double in the bottom of the eighth was the third hit.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team will be looking to extend its winning streak to five games and try to win its 15th series tonight at 7 p.m. at Shaw Park when the Goldeyes meet the Wichita Wingnuts in the second game of the three-game set between the two.
The Goldeyes will start veteran pitcher Ace Walker (6-3, 3.27) and face the Wingnuts' Josh Lowey, who is the American Association's leader in wins with 12.
The Goldeyes (46-31) defeated the Wingnuts 7-1 on Thursday night in the first game of this series.
Wichita (45-33) is the Central division leader. The Goldeyes lead the race for the wild-card berth into the playoffs as they are four games up on the Kansas City T-Bones. Winnipeg is four games back of the North division leading Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (50-27).
The Goldeyes, who won the 2011 North division title, could still catch the RedHawks in the North.
"We're just trying to win as many games as we can," said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney. "If that means we catch Fargo and supercede them, then great. We can't get caught up in watching what they do. That can't be part of your every day routine. We have seven games left against Fargo, so hopefully we find a way to win seven of them."
The Goldeyes play a four-game series in Fargo Aug. 13-16 and then host the RedHawks to close out the regular season Sept. 1-3.
There will be fireworks after tonight's game.