Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Fargo winning battle of beatdowns
Fish's fiercest rivals put it to Winnipeg again
Friends and foes, players for both the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks baseball clubs love nothing better than to lay a beatdown on each other.
A rivalry that started in the old Northern League and accompanied the two clubs when they joined the American Association in 2011 is continuing at Shaw Park this week.
On Thursday night, Winnipeg (26-19) was beaten 6-3 by Fargo (24-21) before a crowd of 5,289. The Goldeyes, still with a one-game lead atop the North Division, are on a four-game losing skid and have lost the last six against Fargo, all at home.
Tony Butler took the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits with seven walks and one strikeout in five innings.
The two teams will close out their four-game set tonight at 7 p.m. with Matt Rusch (5-1, 2.29 ERA) starting for the Goldeyes and Fargo going with Aaron Schafer (3-4, 5.88).
"They (Fargo) are better than us right now. In the last two weeks they've been playing fantastic baseball. They've been catching it pretty well and scoring a lot of runs," said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney. "We're not scoring enough runs right now. We're fifth from the bottom of the league in runs scored."
In the first three games of this series, Fargo outscored Winnipeg 16-9. Fargo leads the season series 6-4.
On Thursday, Fargo scored a pair of third-inning runs followed by four more in the fifth. A two-run home run by right-fielder Sergio Pedroza and a two-run single by first baseman Marco Rodriguez gave the RedHawks a 6-0 lead.
The Goldeyes replied with single runs in the fifth, seventh and ninth, with centre-fielder Chris Roberson driving in all three runs.
Over the years, there's been many big games between the two teams, including nine playoff series in which Fargo holds a 21-16 edge.
"I like the way they (Fargo) play, they play hard. This year we both know it's going to be them or us," said Goldeyes catcher Luis Alen referring to the battle for first place in the North Division. "Playing against them, it's that extra concentration, you want to get better and you want to play the games as well as you can."
Having played for both Winnipeg and Fargo, RedHawks left-fielder Aharon Eggleston said the sentiments are exactly the same in both rooms.
"It's kind of funny being on both sides because you hear stuff on each side, 'I don't like that guy' and then you hang out with him and he's a pretty good guy," laughed Eggleston, who hit .311 in 85 games for Winnipeg in 2010. Forney released him during training camp in 2011 under salary cap constraints.
"It's always been a rivalry between these two teams, kind of like the Knicks and the Heat in basketball, it just brings the best out of everyone and almost all our games have been close until the end," said Eggleston, Fargo's leadoff hitter until a leg injury suffered June 24 against the Goldeyes sidelined him. He is still travelling with the club but it's not known when he will return to the lineup.
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 6, 2012 C6
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