Ray Sadler had two important hits to give the Winnipeg Goldeyes a key 5-4 win over the St. Paul Saints Friday night at Shaw Park.
Sadler hit a solo home run in the second inning, but came up with his most important play in the eighth. He stroked an RBI double that nearly cleared the wall to score the game-winning run and keep the Goldeye’s faint playoff hopes alive.
American Association wild-card leaders Gary SouthShore RailCats beat the Kansas City T-Bones 5-2 Friday night, meaning the Goldeyes remain 21/2 games back with three left to play. The Fish will have to win their final three games of the season and get help from other teams to enter the playoff picture. The RailCats only need to win one of their final three games to clinch the wild-card berth.
Winning three games in a row is something the Goldeyes are capable of, but they play those final games against North Division leaders Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. The Goldeyes have yet to defeat the RedHawks in nine meetings this season. The teams square off tonight at Shaw Park.
"Those games we’ve played in the past are over. (Today) is a new day. We’ll come out, get our work in and just go play," Sadler said of the series.
Goldeyes closer Chris Kissock pitched one inning of hitless ball in the ninth, striking out two batters in the process to give the Goldeyes the win and series split with the Saints.
Both teams scored a run in the second inning courtesy of their left-fielder. Donald Blunt of the Saints hit a double to get on base, advanced to third and scored on a sacrifice bunt. Sadler cranked his 20th home run of the season. The solo effort tied the game.
The Saints gained the lead in the next inning courtesy of a two-run single by shortstop Joey Becker. The Saints added another run in the top of the fifth on a solo home run by Brandon Tripp.
However, these Fish were not ready to flop. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth Tyler Graham and Amos Ramon were walked. Yurendell de Caster hit the ball high, long and way out of Shaw Park for a three-run homer to even the score at 4-4.
In the bottom of the eighth Ryan Scoma got on base with a single and Sadler’s deep double was the difference.
Mark Hardy picked up the win to sit at 7-3 on the season. He pitched two innings, allowing no runs or hits and fanning two. Matt Jackson started for the Fish.