THE Winnipeg Goldeyes have experienced quite a Rusch so far this season.
Pitcher Matt Rusch was named the American Association's Rawlings Pitcher of the Month for June after the 29-year-old won four of his six starts last month and recorded a 1.90 ERA. In the 42.2 innings he pitched in June, he struck out 39 batters.
He is leading the league with a 2.29 ERA and 52 strikeouts and owns a 5-1 record in nine starts.
"Matt has been the leader of our staff along with Ace (Walker), but I don't think there is a better pitcher in the American Association right now," said Goldeyes pitching coach Bill Pulsipher in a statement.
Rusch didn't register a decision in his most recent start Saturday, when the Goldeyes beat the Wichita Wingnuts 6-4, with Rusch allowing four runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. Winnipeg has an 8-1 record when he is the starting pitcher.
Winnipeg won its three-game series with Wichita with 9-1 and a 6-4 wins last Friday and Saturday.
Though the Goldeyes lost 8-5 to Wichita last Sunday, veteran Gabby Martinez had a great day at the plate. Martinez, who replaced Mexico-bound Yurendell de Caster on June 21, belted a pair of home runs Sunday -- a three-run dinger in the top of the first and a solo shot in the top of the eighth.
Centre-fielder Chris Roberson is tied for third in the AA with eight home runs this season. Outfielder Kyle Day leads the Goldeyes in hitting with a .348 batting average while catcher Luis Alen is second with a .323 average.
Winnipeg has won five of its last six games.
The Goldeyes had a rare off day on Monday but will get back to work today at Shaw Park. The Fish begin a 12-game homestand tonight against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at 7 p.m., the first of a four-game set against Fargo. All 12 games will be against North Division opponents as the Sioux Falls Pheasants visit the Goldeyes for four games beginning Friday and the St. Paul Saints are in town July 12-15.
Southpaw Chris Salamida (1-2, 4.87) is expected to take the mound for Winnipeg tonight.
--with files from Jeff Hamilton