Scoring six runs for the first time in over a week, the Winnipeg Goldeyes are now the owners of back-to-back wins.
The Goldeyes (28-20) scored five runs in the fifth inning and, though they saw their shutout bid evaporate in the top of the ninth, put up a 7-1 win over the Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants (25-23) on Sunday at Shaw Park before a crowd of 5,118.
"It was good to see, I was glad to see those guys smile a little bit after we scored five runs in that inning. I shook Tommy’s hand (hitting coach Vaeth) and congratulated him after we scored more than three runs," said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney, with a smile. "It was a good outing for the guys. They did a nice job today."
Winnipeg and Sioux Falls meet again Monday at 7 p.m. at Shaw Park in the third of their four-game set when Ace Walker (4-2, 2.94) will start for Winnipeg against lefty Peter Gehle (4-3, 4.46) for Sioux Falls.
The win allows the Goldeyes, who just two games ago were mired in a five-game losing skid, to cling to a one-game lead over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks atop the American Association’s North division. The Goldeyes have been first in the North for 47 straight days.
Leading the Goldeyes were veterans Yurendell de Caster, who had his best game as a Goldeye since returning from the Mexican League last week, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, Jon Weber (2-for-4, one RBI, a run scored) and Chris Roberson (1-for-4, two runs scored). At the bottom of the order, first baseman Josh Mazzola and outfielder Ridge Carpenter each had hits and runs scored that started off the big inning in the fifth for Winnipeg.
Pitcher Chris Salamida got the win for the Goldeyes. He pitched six scoreless innings, allowing six hits with three walks and a strikeout.
In the fifth inning, the Goldeyes stormed to a 6-0 lead after scoring five runs on five hits and two Sioux Falls errors. Runs were scored by Mazzola, Carpenter, Kendall, Roberson and Weber after doubles were hit by Kendall and Weber. Four of the runs were scored with two out.
The Pheasants, who left 14 on base in the game, recorded their only run in the top of the ninth off Winnipeg reliever Stephen Kahn when centre-fielder Jonny Kaplan came in on a fielder’s choice by left-fielder Jared Bolden with one out.
Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Doug Brown, who recently retired, threw out the first pitch for the Goldeyes on Sunday.