Well, all good things must come to an end -- and this time around, that unhappy ending came at the hands of an old friend.
It was Amos Ramon who drove in the Sioux City Explorers' game-winning second run on Tuesday night, the one that killed the Goldeyes' hopes of extending their winning ways past a franchise-record 11 games. Instead the Fish flopped harmlessly after Ramon, the year-round 'Pegger and 2012 Goldeyes playoff MVP, busted out a ninth-inning RBI single that lifted his new team to a series-opening victory. Hey, good for him.
In response to that score, the Goldeyes showed... well, not much, as Explorers reliever Chris Bodishbaugh sat them down in order to close the game out.
Really, it just wasn't the Fish hitters' night. Though the Goldeyes have one of the most fearsome offences in the league of late, Sioux City starter Patrick Johnson kept them cold this time. He struck out a whopping 11 batters in his seven innings of work, allowing just four hits and nary a single run in that span. The Goldeyes would have to wait until the eighth to get their lone score, when third baseman Josh Mazzola's sacrifice fly sent designated hitter Ryan Pineda home.
Their best chance to crank the engine came in the fourth, when a Tyler Kuhn single, a Mazzola double and a walk for outfielder Donnie Webb loaded the bases, with two outs on the board. Explorers hurler Johnson recovered to strike out powerful Goldeyes outfielder Reggie Abercrombie, and snuff out the threat.
Shortstop Kuhn was two-for-three; Pineda and second baseman Brock Bond each hit for a single; Mazzola had that double and that RBI sac fly. No other Fish registered a hit, and even red-hot first baseman Casey Haerther saw his astonishing hit streak end at 17 games. .
ON THE MOUND
Too bad the Goldeyes couldn't muster up more fire in their bats, because starter Chris Salamida turned in yet another solid game. The southpaw matched his season-high for strike-outs in the quality start, pinning seven down at the plate. In six innings on the mound, he only got nicked for five hits and one run, and helped turn a pretty double-play in the sixth to clear off the bases.
The Goldeyes (34-15) will look to get back in the win column in game two of the series, tonight at 7 p.m. These two teams will wrap things up on Thursday night, then get ready to host the Gary-SouthShore RailCats for their first meeting of the season.