THE Winnipeg Goldeyes gave up a two-run lead late against the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Wednesday night, falling 7-5 in the final game of a three-game homestand at Canwest Park in front of 5,189 fans.
RailCats centre fielder Adam Klein scored the winning run in the top of the ninth off of Mike Massaro's one-out single. The 'Cats then added two insurance runs while the Goldeyes bullpen scrambled to end the inning.
The visitors got on the board first, when Massaro sent Jay Pecci home with a first-inning single to right field.
Early on, the Goldeyes were having little trouble getting runners on base, hitting five singles in the first two innings. However, a pair of RailCats double plays quashed any early offensive momentum until the Goldeyes' big bats came out in the third.
DH Juan Diaz blasted a one-out offering from RailCats starter Brandon Magee off the scoreboard for a two-run homer -- his second bomb in as many days -- and Kevin West immediately welcomed Magee's replacement Zeb Engle with a solo shot in the next at-bat.
Goldeyes starter Ace Walker had an uneven outing, scattering eight hits over six innings, but thanks to solid defence only allowed two runs before reliever Zach Baldwin replaced him to open the seventh, which he ended with three quick outs.
The Goldeyes' lead grew to 4-2 in the bottom of the same inning. Shortstop Wes Long was hit by a pitch from Gary's Aaron Cook, stole second, and was sent home by centre fielder Aharon Eggleston's single.
The RailCats got to Baldwin in the eighth, however, scoring the third and tying fourth runs on a single from DH Louis Ott, forcing Goldeyes manager Rick Forney to pull Baldwin in favour of closer Philip Roy, who got out of the inning unscathed thanks to a nice double play turned by Long.
It came apart in the ninth, however, when the 'Cats batters wrestled three hits and two walks out of Roy and replacement Casey Hodges.
The Goldeyes attempted to make a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, scoring one run, but stranded two batters when 'Cats closer Andy Shipman struck out West.
RailCats reliever Aaron Cook (2-1) picked up the win, with Shipman picking up his 10th save of the season. Roy took the loss for the Goldeyes.
The Goldeyes (18-14) ended their three-game series against the 'Cats with a 1-2 record, and wrap up a seven-game homestand with four games against the expansion Rockford Riverhawks (14-16) starting today.