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Fish bats start booming

North leaders now proud owners of back-to-back wins

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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 shut out evaorate in the top of the ninth, put up a 7-1 win over the Sioux Falls Pheasants 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. "It was a good outing for the guys. They did a nice job today."

Three runs were all the Goldeyes had been able to muster in each of their last five games, which comprised four losses and a 3-1 win Saturday over Sioux Falls in the first game of their four-game series. The teams meet again today at 7 p.m. at Shaw Park when Ace Walker (4-2, 2.94) will start for Winnipeg and lefty Peter Gehle (4-3, 4.46) goes for Sioux Falls.

The win allows the Goldeyes to cling to a one-game lead over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks atop the American Association's North Division. The Goldeyes have held first place in the North for 47 straight days.

"Since I got back I haven't hit like that, so it feels so good today that we won," said Winnipeg third baseman Yurendell de Caster, who had his best game since returning from the Mexican League last week, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. "I think I'm a big part of the lineup, so if I can bring the runs in we have a good chance to win. We got a lot of hits the last couple of games but we didn't get the big hits when we needed it. Today, I think we put everything together."

Veteran Jon Weber went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Chris Roberson had two RBI. At the bottom of the order, first baseman Josh Mazzola and outfielder Ridge Carpenter had hits that started off the big fifth inning.

"We need everybody to pull their own weight. I don't think you need a little tug on the shirt to say, 'hey, let's get going.' You should have that sense of urgency every day when you come to the field," Forney said.

Maybe not a tug on the shirt, but pitcher Chris Salamida said a kick in pants from the veterans during a team meeting last Saturday had an impact.

"Our veteran guys, Weber, Roberson, de Caster, Luis Alen, Ace Walker, those guys all threw a little bit in," said Salamida, who got the win for the Goldeyes, pitching six scoreless innings while allowing six hits. "It's those guys that are going to bring us together, which they did, and that helped us out a lot."

In the fifth, the Goldeyes stormed to a 6-0 lead, scoring five runs on five hits and two Sioux Falls errors. Four of the runs were scored with two out.

The Pheasants, who left 14 on base, recorded their only run in the ninth off reliever Stephen Kahn when centre-fielder Jonny Kaplan came in on a fielder's choice with one out.

Diamond Dust: Goldeyes on hitting streaks are Alen, nine games, Weber (7) Mazzola (6) ...Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Doug Brown threw out the first pitch on Sunday.

 

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPAshleyPrest

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 9, 2012 C3

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