July 3, 2013 - American Association (AA) - Winnipeg Goldeyes
The Winnipeg Goldeyes took a lead into the ninth inning on Tuesday night and lost in 11. Wednesday night, they turned the tables on the St. Paul Saints.
Luis Alen singled in the bottom of the ninth to drive home the winning run as the Goldeyes came back from 2-1 deficit with two runs in the ninth to grab a walk-off 3-2 win over the Saints.
It was a terrific ball game in front of 5,011 at Shaw Park, as Goldeyes starter Pete Gehle and Saints starter Anthony Clagget battled for eight innings. Claggett gave up one run on five hits over eight complete innings, while Gehle allowed just two runs on six hits through 7.2 innings.
With the win, the Goldeyes avenged Tuesday night's series-opening loss to St. Paul, a 9-8 heartbreaker. In that one, Winnipeg led 8-7 heading into the ninth and gave up one in the ninth and lost on an unearned run in the 11th.
The Goldeyes also put a stop to a three-game losing streak and improved to 22-21 on the season.
"This was a big win for our ball club, but an even bigger win for our pitching staff," said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney. "No matter how good our bullpen has been, we can't keep going into the late innings down a run or ahead by just a run. Eventually, these guys are going to give up a run. They're only human. Tonight, we put together a great ninth inning and got an important win.
"And Pete (Gehle) was awesome. He pitched an awesome ball game for us tonight."
St. Paul scored a run in the fourth as Joey Becker doubled and eventually came around to score on a fielder's choice groundout by Brandon Tripp. Jose Hernandez made it 2-0 on a solo homer in the seventh.
Winnipeg's first run came in the bottom of the seventh when Josh Mazzola doubled and came home on an RBI double by Luis Alen.
But until the ninth, with closer Matt Meyer on the mound, the Goldeyes just couldn't mount a consistent offensive attack against Claggett.
"We've been getting great pitching and great defense all year," said Forney. "We didn't do much offensively for eight innings tonight, but the guys ground it out. That's why you play the whole nine innings. Our hitters kept battling, had some good at bats and won a ball game. It was a big win for us."
Allen Caldwell (1-0, 1.23 ERA) got the win in relief of Gehle, who really was outstanding. Meyer (4-4, 3.22 ERA) suffered the loss in relief of Claggett who was also terrific.
The Goldeyes and Saints will meet in Game 3 of this four game series on Thursday night, 7:00 p.m. at Shaw Park.
Tickets for all Goldeyes games are available through Ticketmaster by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, clicking on Ticketmaster.ca or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the Shaw Park box office.