After all the buzz about offence in the pre-season, Winnipeg Goldeyes batters showed the early scouting report was no joke in their first series.
The Fish put up 32 runs in their first four games of the year, an offensive explosion that powered them to a 3-1 series win over the Amarillo Sox. In that span, Fish hitters combined for six home runs, two triples -- both from new third baseman Ryan Pineda -- and 12 two-base wallops.
The league took note, naming shortstop Tyler Kuhn as the American Association's first player of the week in 2014. Kuhn, 27, was dynamite in his Goldeyes debut, batting .524 in 21 at-bats. He put up at least two hits in every game against the Sox, to lead the league in average and hits.
The Goldeyes' attack helped them rally back from a mucky 11-7 opening day loss to the Sox, a game in which starting pitcher Chris Salamida got burned for nine runs in 1 1/3 innings, before he was yanked. Still, the Fish clawed back on the attack, and put up five runs in the third to narrow the gap.
Other than that one rough inning -- which set up Amarillo's first-ever win against the Goldeyes -- the Fish ran all over Amarillo, rattling off a 5-2 win in game two, a 12-2 thumping in game three, and a convincing 8-4 victory to clinch the series on Sunday.
Besides Kuhn, a whack of other Goldeyes batters had a great series. Second baseman Jake Blackwood batted .294, with five RBI, two doubles and two home runs, and his on-base-plus slugging figure of 1.194 led the regular line-up. Powerhouse outfielder Ray Sadler swung for .368 with two doubles, a homer and five RBI. Catcher Luis Alen was sharp, and first baseman Casey Haerther hit .294 with three doubles in 17 at-bats.
In pitching news, starter Matt Jackson didn't give up a single earned run in his first start on Saturday, striking out five batters and only allowing four hits and one walk in 6 1/3 innings.
Now, the Goldeyes move on to Laredo, where they were slated to face the Lemurs Monday night in the first of a three-game series. After that, their season-opening road trip moves north to Nebraska, where they'll play the Lincoln Saltdogs three times.
The Fish land back at Shaw Park on May 26, where they'll open their home schedule against the visiting Sioux City Explorers.