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Ramon helps Fish finish homestand strong

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Amos Ramon loves to hit at home.

The Goldeyes third baseman, a Texas native who has made Winnipeg his home, went 2-for-3, with a solo home run and a triple, and scored a pair of runs to help lead the Goldeyes to a 3-1 win over the Wichita Wingnuts at Shaw Park before a crowd of 5,853 on Saturday night.

With the win, the Goldeyes (47-32) won the series against the Central Division-leading Wingnuts (46-34). It was Winnipeg’s 15th series win of the 2012 American Association season. The Goldeyes finished the six-game homestand with a 5-1 record, sweeping Sioux Falls and edging Wichita 2-1.

"I love playing in this park, I love playing in front of these fans," said Ramon, who also made a key one-handed grab in the infield in the top of the sixth and fired to first for the second out in what turned out to be Wichita’s most dangerous inning.

The homer was his first at Shaw Park.

"(It was) a very big win, especially going into next week. For us to win at home and take this win into Monday and start with Fargo," said Ramon, who is on an eight-game hitting streak. "That’s going to be a big series over there and they’re going to come here at the end of the season (Sept. 1-3) so we have to set the tempo when we go over there."

The Goldeyes are off Sunday before heading to Fargo on Monday for a four-game series against the North Division-leading RedHawks (52-27), who are five games up on Winnipeg.

"It was an important homestand, we hadn’t played well at home in over a month," said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney.

"Five-and-one is certainly a good homestand... Hopefully it builds enough momentum that we can head into that Fargo series and scare them a little bit."

Forney smiled after that statement. He knows the upcoming series with Fargo will be one of the most important of the season. In addition to chasing Fargo, the Goldeyes hold the league’s sole wild-card playoff berth with a five-game edge over the Kansas City T-Bones.

Recording Saturday’s win was lefty Chris Salamida (4-5), with reliever Brian Beuning recording his third save. Beuning pitched 2 2/3 hitless innings and struck out five.

The game sat scoreless until the top of the sixth inning when Wichita first baseman Greg Porter hit a double and then scored on a single to the gap in right field by second baseman Wilberto Ortiz.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Goldeyes put up a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead. Ramon hit a solo home run and second baseman Yurendell de Caster drove in Chris Roberson, who walked to get aboard.

A key point in the game came in the top of the seventh when Salamida, who had walked one, was replaced by Beuning.

Beuning walked two batters to load the bases with two out, but struck out catcher Jesse Mier to end the threat.

Ramon put the Goldeyes in the drivers’ seat with a leadoff triple in the eighth, using his speed to turn what looked like a double into a triple. Ramon then scored on Price Kendall’s single to boost the Goldeyes to a 3-1 lead.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPAshleyPrest

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