STRONG pitching, courtesy of Chris Salamida, and a couple of strong innings in the middle of the game helped the Winnipeg Goldeyes secure a 9-2 victory over the St. Paul Saints Wednesday night.
Some 7,029 fans took in a perfect night for baseball and watched the Goldeyes stay alive in the wild-card race in the American Association. Wild-card leaders Gary SouthShore RailCats beat the Kansas City T-Bones 10-4, meaning the Goldeyes will remain 11/2 games back with five games left to play.
"All the games from here on out are important, so it was good that we came out and played aggressive with our pitching and hitting. We just had to let things take their course," Goldeyes left-fielder Ray Sadler said of the team's win.
The win wiped away any bad memories of the opening match of the series. The Goldeyes had committed a season-high five errors the previous night in an 11-4 loss. They had zero errors this game.
The Goldeyes opened the scoring in the fourth inning after going through their entire batting rotation. Yurendell de Caster was walked and Ryan Scoma hit a double to put both runners in scoring position. Sadler hit a two-RBI double to bring in the first two runs of the game. Josh Mazzola hit a single, but Sadler couldn't advance because the play was right in front of him. Luis Alen cranked a single down the third-base line to bring in Sadler and Amos Ramon scored Mazzola on the next play. After the dust settled, the Goldeyes had a 4-0 lead.
Salamida and the Goldeyes defence put the Saints down one-two-three in the top of the fifth and added more runs in the bottom of the inning. De Caster was brought in on a Mazzola fielder's choice and Scoma was brought in courtesy of a Casey Haerther single.
The Saints scored their first run in the top of the seventh. Saints first-baseman Brian Burgamy got on base with a single. Left-fielder Donald Blunt blasted a line drive just inside the third-base line and deep into the corner of left field for an RBI triple. Designated hitter Chris Manning hit an RBI single to make the score 6-2.
However in the bottom of the inning the Goldeyes cancelled those two runs, courtesy of Sadler's 19th home run of the season. Scoma got onto base with a single and Sadler followed him up for the two-run home run and 8-2 lead.
In the eighth inning Alen was brought in on a Fehlandt Lentini fielder's choice for the Goldeyes' ninth run of the game.