AT first, it looked like Saints outfielder Willie Cabrera planned to feast on Goldeye at Shaw Park — but then, the Fish bit back.
The Goldeyes scored by committee Thursday night, hauling their way out of a third-inning hole to clinch a comeback win. With that, they completed a three-game sweep of the rival Saints, rose to 51-32 on the season and tightened their grip on first place in the American Association's North Division.
Gotta hand it to Cabrera, though. In the series opener Tuesday, he blew three home runs right outta Shaw Park, cashing in for four scores. In the second game of the series, Goldeyes pitcher Matt Jackson managed to hold him zip-for-four.
But on Thursday, Cabrera roared back to life in the top of the third. There, with two Saints runners on base and two outs on the board, Cabrera took a pitch from starter Ethan Hollingsworth, and blew it clear over the left-field wall. That three-run shot, combined with a two-out Evan Bigley RBI single just a few minutes before, lifted the Saints to an early 4-0 lead.
The Goldeyes fought back, scoring on a Tyler Kuhn sacrifice hit in the third. Then, while Hollingsworth and the bullpen worked to keep the Saints attack at bay, the Winnipeg hitters went to work orchestrating more runs. Josh Mazzola walloped an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth. In the fifth inning, right after Casey Haerther smacked an RBI single, Reggie Abercrombie followed with one of his own.
Finally, Kuhn put up another sacrifice fly in the seventh to score Bond, and when Saints right-fielder Joe Bonfe bungled an Abercrombie single, the error allowed Goldeyes third baseman Jake Blackwood to dash home. In the end, despite a dicey bases-loaded moment in the top of the ninth, the Fish held the Saints off the board after that third-inning stumble.
St. Paul is now six games in their rearview mirror.
Oh, it was a lovely night for a stroll down the baseline. Then again, that's every night for Goldeyes second baseman Brock Bond, who drew two walks off of Saints starter Nick Barnese: one to lead off the fifth, another to kick off the bottom of the seventh. That stretched his walk streak to six games.
The Fish are on the road to Sioux Falls today, where they'll open a three-game series against the Canaries at 7 p.m.