Goldeyes Whip Texas 11-2
WINNIPEG, MB – A three-run home run by Shawn Pleffner and a solid start from Edwin Carl was all the Winnipeg Goldeyes needed as they whipped the Texas AirHogs on Tuesday afternoon.
Playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 7,182 – mostly school kids – the Goldeyes got a career-high six RBI from Pleffner while Carl went six complete, allowing two runs on eight scattered hits, as the Fish whipped the visiting AirHogs 11-2.
With the win, the Goldeyes improved to 15-9 and for a short time on Tuesday were tied with the St. Paul Saints for first in the American Association’s North Division.
“It was a good day today,” Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney told the CJNU post-game show. “Edwin gave us six good innings and the bullpen was really tight for the last three. We we played pretty good defense and got two big throws from Romanski. And the middle of the lineup was fantastic today at driving in some runs.”
Texas scored single runs in the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead, but the Goldeyes got on the board in the bottom of the third when Casio Grider beat out an infield single and stole second. Andrew Sohn followed with an infield single, but AirHogs’ starting pitcher Scott Firth fired the ball wide of first and down the rightfield line. The error allowed Grider to score from second and the Goldeyes had cut the lead to 2-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Goldeyes put up a pair of runs and took a 3-2 lead, a lead they would never relinquish. David Bergin was hit by a pitch leading off and advanced to second on Reggie Abercrombie’s groundball single to centre. Shawn Pleffner ripped a single to right-centre that scored Bergin with the tying run. Two batters later, David Rohm walked to load the bases, and then Wes Darvill walked and that forced in Abercrombie from third and Winnipeg had the lead.
The Goldeyes scored two more in the fifth as Josh Romanski singled up the middle and took third two batters later when Abercrombie singled to left. Pleffner followed with a two-run double to right-centre that stretched the Goldeyes’ lead to 5-2.
Facing recently-signed pitcher/outfielder Earl Burl III in the bottom of the eighth, the Goldeyes put up a six spot. Rohm led off with a double, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Darvill sacrifice fly to centre. Then Sohn singled and Romanski and Bergin walked to load the bases with two outs. Abercrombie then singled the opposite way to score Sohn and Romanski.
That’s when Pleffner blasted his three-run home over the rightfield wall to make it a laugher.
Carl (2-0, 2.78 ERA) earned the win, allowing two runs, one earned, on eight hits in six innings. Carl walked two, struck out five, and has allowed three or fewer earned runs in all five of his starts this season.
The bullpen — Brandon Quintero, Victor Capellan, and Ryan Chaffee — combined for five strikeouts over three shutout innings to close out the win.
Firth (1-4, 5.55 ERA) suffered the loss for the 5-19 AirHogs, allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits. Firth walked two and struck out four.
Sohn had two hits and has now hit safely in seven straight games. Pleffner and Abercrombie each had three hits. Pleffner now leads the league with a .380 batting average.
Game 3 of this four-game set goes Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Shaw Park. Zack Dodson (2-1, 5.96) will get the call for the Goldeyes while left-hander Michael Freeman (0-1, 3.45) will take to the mound for Texas.
Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photo by Dan LeMoal