Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney said before Tuesday night’s game against the Gary SouthShore RailCats he was hoping for five innings of strong pitching from Mitchell Lambson — and that’s exactly what he got.
With starting pitcher Shane Dawson out with a shoulder injury, Forney called in a familiar face to fill the void in the rotation. Lambson, a member of last season’s championship roster, rejoined the club on Tuesday after being released from the Mexican League’s Pericos de Puebla after 11 starts. Lambson impressed in his return to the Fish lineup, as the southpaw lasted five innings, striking out four while giving up five hits and one unearned run to help the Goldeyes to a 4-1 win over Gary. The Fish and RailCats are now tied in the standings with records of 14-10.
"I thought that was a good first start. I was out there battling and Kevin (Garcia) did a great job behind the plate calming me down at first, because coming back to Winnipeg I was excited to come out and pitch," said Lambson, who was 7-3 with one save and a 3.98 ERA in 38 relief appearances for the Fish a season ago.
"We played good defence and came through with some clutch hits in the end and it worked out for us."
Lambson wasn’t the only player to pull on a Goldeyes uniform for the first time this season on Tuesday. Dave Sappelt, a former Major League Baseball outfielder, was one of three Goldeyes hitters who were signed by the club earlier in the day and immediately put into the starting lineup. Sappelt finished the game without a hit, while the other new guys — first baseman Eric Aguilera and second baseman Tucker Nathans — combined for two hits and two walks. Aguilera scored the winning run in the eighth inning on a Jordan Ebert sacrifice fly.
"We don’t need them to come in and have each guy hit two home runs every night," said Forney on the new hitters in his lineup. "We just need them to be good baseball players every day."
Shortstop Andrew Sohn led the charge on offence with three hits, including a solo home run in the third inning to open the scoring. After Aguilera scored in the eighth to give the Fish a 2-1 lead, Garcia added some insurance by hitting a two-run home run — his first homer of the season. Victor Capellan made easy work of the RailCats in the ninth inning, striking out two to earn his 12th save of the season. Capellan also picked up a save in the series opener on Monday night.
The Goldeyes will look to complete the three-game series sweep tonight as they play Gary at 7 p.m.
Updated on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 9:17 AM CDT: Final