The Winnipeg Goldeyes (5-2) are set to play against the Sioux Falls Canaries (2-5) in the second game of a three game series at Shaw Park. The Goldeyes defeated the Canaries 13-1 in their home opener last night at Shaw Park. Kevin McGovern went 8 innings strong to pick up his first win of the year, while Dylan Thompson took the loss for the Canaries.
The Goldeyes are winners of their past five straight, while the Canaries have dropped their last five. Tonight’s pitching matchup consists of right-hander Edwin Carl up against right-hander Miles Nordgren.
Edwin Carl has been electric in his career as a Goldeye. The 2016 and 2017 American Association Champion joins Winnipeg for his fourth straight season. He was 9-4 with a 4.60 ERA in 19 starts in 2017. He finished 9th in the league with 103 strikeouts. He is one of only seven pitchers in Goldeyes’ history to record over 100 strikeouts in multiple seasons, and he was the winning pitcher in the American Association Championship-clinching game last year for the Goldeyes. He picked up the victory in his 2018 debut last Sunday in Cleburne, giving up three runs, one of them earned, on five hits through six innings of work. The 29-year old native of Farmington, New Mexico walked one and tied a career-high with eleven strikeouts.
The Canaries go with 25-year old Miles Nordgren. Nordgren is in his second year with the Birds, and was 5-8 with a 4.95 ERA in 19 starts last year. Nordgren allowed three or fewer earned runs in 13 of those starts. Nordgren is a former Minnesota Twin draft pick, as the ball club picked him in the 23rd round in 2014 out of Birmingham-Southern College.
The Goldeyes are managed by Rick Forney, who is in his 13th season. Mike Meyer, the Canaries manager, is in his second year with the club. The Canaries finished with a 45-55 record under Meyer in 2017, while Rick Forney and the Winnipeg Goldeyes enjoyed a league-best 62-38 record, while capturing a second straight American Association Championship.
The weather at Shaw Park is beautiful tonight, a wonderful night for baseball. The Goldeyes are wearing their traditional white home jerseys with names and numbers in red on the back, Sioux Falls is going with grey pants and bright yellow tops with blue names, no numbers on the back.
Top of 1st:
Edwin Carl takes the mound, hoping to guide the Fish to a sixth straight victory. Leading off the game for the Canaries is the shortstop, Blake Schmit. The first pitch is inside for ball one and we are underway here at 6:10 at Shaw Park in Downtown Winnipeg. Canaries looking for revenge after last night’s 13-1 drubbing by the Fish. Schmit hits lightly and right at the shortstop, and he is retired, so here comes Jabari Henry, who is the Birds’ DH tonight. Henry grounds the ball in the same direction as Schmit and he is thrown out heading for first and there are two away for the right fielder, Chris Grayson. And after falling behind 2-0, Carl comes back with three straight strikes to pick up his first strikeout of the night. The Goldeyes are now up to bat as Carl makes quick work of the side here in the top half.
Bottom of 1st:
Leading off against Nordgren is Andrew Sohn. Sohn returns to the Fish for a second season after an MVP-calibre year last year, in 2017. Sohn takes a first pitch strike but hits a bloop single to right on his second pitch and he is on first for the 25-year old left fielder Grant Heyman. Heyman quickly with a nice single, Sohn sprints around the bag at second to reach third and there’s runners on the corners for Reynaldo Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who was at one time the number one ranked prospect in the MLB, steps up. He is .346 with 7 RBI already on the year. He grounds to short and Heyman is thrown out at second, Rodriguez beats out the relay to first and Sohn scores without a throw home. It is 1-0 Goldeyes and former Major Leaguer Reggie Abercrombie is up with one out and Rodriguez on first. Rodriguez runs on the pitch as Reggie grounds to short, Rodriguez makes it to second to avoid the inning-ending double play as Reggie is just thrown out at first. Victor Cruzado steps up with two outs and Rodriguez now in scoring-position at second. Cruzado singles and Rodriguez runs around third digging for home, but he is thrown out by Dan Motl over in center and the inning is over. The Goldeyes grab one run on 3 hits and they leave one man on base. Miles Nordgren did a very good job there to limit the damage, as it looked like the Goldeyes were threatening for a big inning with runners on the corners and no outs.
Top of 2nd:
Carl back out for his second inning of work, and he will go against Chris Jacobs first. Carl induces a ground ball which tossed high to first but Rodriguez makes a nice grab and Jacobs is retired. Here comes the second baseman, 24-year old Sioux Falls native, Patrick Fiala. Carl gets yet another groundout to Sohn over at short, who makes the long toss to first for the out. Goldeyes shortstop Andrew Sohn has 3 assists and a putout through 5 outs early on. Burt Reynolds is now up for the Birds. Reynolds has battled hard against Carl. Several foul balls. Reynolds has home run power and can tie it with one swing of the bat. Reynolds has a good at-bat against Carl but eventually flies out to Reggie Abercrombie in center, and Carl retires the second in order for the second straight inning.
Bottom of 2nd:
Leading off is DH David Bergin. Bergin, a former St. Paul Saint, was the Goldeyes Kryptonite while playing with St. Paul, but he joins the Goldeyes for his second season in 2018. Bergin is consistently a threat for power, and hit 20 home runs in 2017, which was good for fifth in the league. Bergin, who had his first home run of the year last night, pops out to Chris Grayson in right field and that brings up the very hot Goldeye catcher, Kevin Garcia. Garcia is hitting an incredible .500 through 7 games this season. Garcia swings and misses for strike one but is plunked by the following pitch and is awarded first, so here comes fan favourite and 2012 Champion Josh Mazzola. Mazzola hits a single to right and Garcia takes a risk by running to third. He makes it there safely with good base-running and the Goldeyes have runners on the corners with one down for Jordan Ebert. Ebert shows bunt but pulls back and grounds out into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double-play. Nordgren again with a good job to get out of the jam and the Canaries will come up to bat down 1-0.
Top of 3rd:
Leading off against Edwin Carl is 24-year old second baseman Tyler Wolfe. Wolfe, who is from Maple Plain, Minnesota, actually pitched in relief for the Birds last night. Wolfe hits a single and the Canaries have their first base-runner of the ball game, with Wolfe on first with no outs for catcher Aaron Gretz. Gretz comes into the ball game for Maxx Garrett, whose home run last night represented the only Canary run. Wolfe with good speed on first. Gretz grounded into what looked like a double-play but the umpire called Gretz safe at first. Wolfe is out on the fielder’s choice and there is one man down in the inning, still a runner on first, for Dan Motl. Gretz, good speed for a catcher is on first. Motl hits a single and the Canaries are threatening with runners on first and second base and only one out for the shortstop Blake Schmit. Schmit singles to load the bases and Carl has really found himself in a jam now with the bases jacked and just one down for the DH Jabari Henry. Henry fouls off a few and forces a full count. And Henry earns an 11-pitch walk which will force home a run. It’s 1-1 and the bases are still loaded for Chris Grayson, only one out, and the Birds are really looking at a big inning. Grayson with a huge hit out to deep right, just stays in the park and the Canaries clear the bases with 3 runs home. Grayson is thrown out trying for third, but the Canaries grab a big 4-1 lead. Jacobs is up now with 2 outs and nobody on. That all really started with Gretz making it safe to first base with nice speed, when really it should’ve been a double-play. And Jacobs hits a single and the bats are really coming alive here for the Canaries against Edwin Carl. Ground rule double for Fiala with a nice hit and there will be an early mound visit here for the Goldeyes as the Canaries now have runners on second and third with two outs. The Birds already have 4 home in the inning and lead 4-1. And Carl pops out Burt Reynolds to end the inning. The Canaries had a great inning, as they score 4 runs on 6 hits and leave two men on base.
Bottom of 3rd:
It is still early, and the Goldeyes will try to chip into this 4-1 deficit here in the bottom half of the third. Andrew Sohn to lead off. Sohn pops out to Grayson over in right and there is quickly one away. Grant Heyman will step to the dish. And Heyman is quickly down on strikes on three straight pitches and up now is Reynaldo Rodriguez. Rodriguez hits it out to center and the ball is caught and he is retired. Very quick inning of work for Miles Nordgren, and the Canaries will now look to expand on their lead as we head to the fourth.
Top of 4th:
Edwin Carl is up against Tyler Wolfe, who started all the damage last inning with a single. And he will homer to expand the Canaries lead to 5-1. Aaron Gretz, who was called safe on that controversial play at first last inning, is up to bat. Gretz is sat down after swinging and missing for strike three against Carl, and Carl picks up his second K of the evening. Dan Motl is now up for the Birds with one man down. Motl swings and misses for strike three and Carl has recorded back-to-back strikeouts after giving up that home run. 2 men gone for Blake Schmit. Schmit falls behind 0-2 but battles for a full count. He is ultimately down on strikes, as Carl retires the side after that home run. It’s 5-1 Canaries over the Goldeyes.
Bottom of 4th:
Reggie Abercrombie to lead off. Reggie hits a nice bloop and he is on first for Victor Cruzado. Pitch in the dirt and Reggies takes off and he is SAFE with the steal of second. He is now in scoring position with a 2-0 count to Cruzado. Cruzado draws a nice four pitch walk and there’s runners on first and second with no outs for slugger David Bergin. Bergin crushes one to right and Grayson has it bounce in and out of his glove, we will see if they score an error there but the bases are now juiced with no outs for Kevin Garcia. Canaries up 5-1. They score it a hit for Bergin. GARCIA HITS A LITTLE BLOOP OVER THE LEAPING TYLER WOLFE AND EVERYONE IS SAFE. BASES ARE STILL LOADED WITH NOBODY OUT FOR JOSH MAZZOLA. Fish have cut into this lead it is now 5-2. Mazzola hits it and Cruzado is thrown out at home. Bases remain loaded with one out for Jordan Ebert. Ebert grounds out into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double-play. The Goldeyes are done in the inning and only bring one home despite loading the bases with no outs. Nordgren again with an excellent job to limit the damage. The Goldeyes do get one back, and they find themselves down 5-2 after 4.
Top of 5th:
New pitcher in the game for the Goldeyes is rookie right-hander, Brandon Bingel. The book is closed on Edwin Carl, who gives up 5 runs, all earned, on 7 hits. He struck out 4 and is on the hook for the loss. Bingel is a 23-year old from Peabody, Massachusetts. He faces Jabari Henry first. Henry pops up way high in the air and Reggie Abercrombie makes the catch to retire Henry on one pitch. Here comes Chris Grayson. Bingel is the youngest player on the Goldeyes’ roster. He strikes out Grayson to pick up his first K and Chris Jacobs will step up to the plate with nobody on and two out. Jacobs earns the four pitch walk and he is on for Patrick Fiala. Fiala hits it right toward Jordan Ebert who makes the catch to retire the side. A solid inning of work for Bingel as he doesn’t allow any hits and strands a runner on first.
Bottom of 5th:
Nordgren out for his fifth inning of work, and he will face the top of the order in Andrew Sohn, Grant Heyman and Reynaldo Rodriguez. The Goldeyes have piled up 7 hits against Nordgren, but he is doing a very good job of limiting the damage, as he has only given up two earned runs. Nordgren gets Sohn to ground out and there is one man down for Heyman. HEYMAN WORKS A FULL COUNT AND POPS ONE DEEP TO RIGHT AND IT’S GONE. A SOLO SHOT AND THE FISH ARE WITHIN 2 IT’S 5-2! Rodriguez is up to bat. Rodriguez hits it nice but Chris Grayson is there to make the catch and Rodriguez is out. Reggie Abercrombie will step up to the plate. Abercrombie swings for the fences and misses and the inning is over. Despite a solo homer by Heyman, Nordgren has another solid inning of work. The Goldeyes do get one, it’s 5-3 Canaries as we head to the 6th.
Top of 6th:
Bingel appears to be ready for a second inning of work. He worked around a walk to retire the side with no damage last inning. Burt Reynolds will lead things off. Reynolds swings and misses and he is down on strikes. Tyler Wolfe will now take a crack for the Birds. Wolfe works a full count but ultimately grounds out and there is two men down for the catcher, Aaron Gretz. Gretz hits it nicely to center but Reggie Abercrombie sprints to it and makes a diving catch to retire the side in order. It’s 5-3 Canaries as we head to the home half.
Bottom of 6th:
Miles Nordgren is out for another inning, and he will try and protect the Canaries’ two run lead. Victor Cruzado to lead off for the Fish. Cruzado hits a single, and the lead off man is on for the DH David Bergin. Bergin has home run power and can tie the ball game with one swing of the bat. Cruzado with good speed on first. Pitch outside for a ball and Cruzado is off and steals second. The ball was thrown to second in time, but it was over the head of Tyler Wolfe and into center field. Full count to Bergin. Bergin swings and misses and he is down on strikes. Kevin Garcia will bat with a runner in scoring position over on second and one man down. Nordgren is done for the day, he is responsible for Cruzado on second, and the new pitcher in the game for the Birds is big right-hander Kyle Schepel. It was a solid game for Nordgren. He gave up hits but did a very good job at limiting the damage and is in line to get a win. Garcia swings and hits the first pitch directly to first, where Jacobs fields and takes it to first himself. Cruzado advances to third and there is two men down for Josh Mazzola. Mazzola crushes one but it falls at the warning track where Grayson makes the catch to end the inning, and the Fish strand Cruzado on third. Once again, the Canaries play with fire but do a very good job at putting it out and avoiding a lot of damage.
Top of 7th:
New pitcher in the game for the Goldeyes is 26-year old rightie Zach Hartman. Hartman comes in in relief of Brandon Bingel, who pitched two solid innings of relief. Up first is Dan Motl. Hartman with a nice strikeout of Motl and there’s one away for Blake Schmit. Schmit gets good wood and hits it real nice, but Reggie Abercrombie is able to chase it down to record the putout and out number two. Batting now, the DH, Jabari Henry. Henry is down on strikes and that’s a real nice inning for Hartman. It’s stretch time here at Shaw Park, and the Goldeyes will look to play comeback, as they are still down by two runs, it’s 5-3 in favour of Sioux Falls.
Bottom of 7th:
Kyle Schepel out for another inning of work. He will face Jordan Ebert, Andrew Sohn and Grant Heyman, hitters 9, 1 and 2. Ebert is down on strikes, swinging on a third pitch out of the strikezone. Nice job by Schepel to get him to chase and earn the K after falling behind 3-1. Sohn steps in. Sohn comes back from down 0-2 to draw the walk and he will be on first with one down for Grant Heyman, who homered his last trip to the plate. Sohn, the runner on first, has good speed. Sohn steals second without a throw! 1-1 count to Heyman with Sohn in scoring position and one down. Heyman swings and misses for strike three and the Canaries once again have a chance to get out of an inning unscathed despite the Fish putting a runner in scoring position with less than two outs. Here comes Reynaldo Rodriguez. RODRIGUEZ HITS A SOLID DOUBLE AND SOHN COMES IN TO SCORE. SOHN SCORES STANDING UP AND WITHOUT A THROW AND IT’S NOW 5-4. Reggie Abercrombie steps in with Rodriguez representing the tying run on second and two men down. The umpire has thrown out Reggie Abercrombie. After a very questionable call on a ball where Reggie had to move out of the way, Reggie argued, and now the ump has tossed him. Hitting coach Tom Vaeth now out to argue. The calls on balls and strikes have been inconsistent on both sides all night, and Reggie finds himself ejected. Matt McCann will now come in and inherit Reggie’s 0-2 count. McCaan swings and misses for strike three and the Goldeyes’ faithful here at Shaw Park are really letting the umpire hear it. Boos are raining down. We will see who takes over in center field for Abercrombie.
Top of 8th:
Rookie left-hander Kenny Mathews will come in to pitch for the Goldeyes. Chris Grayson will lead off for the Birds. Grayson grounds out. It looks like McCaan has moved to third, Mazzola to right field and Cruzado over to center with Reggie now out of the game. Mathews does his job and retires the left-handed Grayson and the Goldeyes will make the switch to rightie Cameron McVey, who was a member of the 2016 Championship winning Goldeyes. Now batting for Sioux Falls, Chris Jacobs. Jacobs hits it sharply towards the gap but Andrew Sohn sprints over and gathers the ball to record a nice assist and retire Jacobs. Patrick Fiala will now bat with two outs. Fiala hits it over to McCann who is now fielding over at third and he tosses to first. The throw pulls Rodriguez off the bag at first but he manages to tag out Fiala to end the inning.
Bottom of 8th:
New pitcher in the ball game for the Canaries is right-hander Nicco Blank. Batting now for the Goldeyes is Victor Cruzado. Cruzado hits a long single, and the lead off man is on for the Goldeyes again as David Bergin steps up. Cruzado has good speed, he is on first. Bergin with a mile high pop-up to right and he is out and that brings up the catcher, Kevin Garcia. Garcia earns a four-pitch walk and there is now runners on first and second for Josh Mazzola. Mound visit time for the Canaries. Base hit should tie, an extra-base hit can give the Fish the lead for the first time since the top half of the third. Will the Canaries escape again? Mazzola hits it to left at the warning track Reynolds makes a good catch and the runners hold. Canaries now have a chance to get out of this inning still ahead. Jordan Ebert is up. Wild pitch and the runners advance. Runners on second and third with two down. And Ebert draws a four pitch walk himself and the bases are loaded with two down for Andrew Sohn. It’s 5-4 Canaries. That will spell the end of Blank’s day, and the new pitcher is a rightie, it is Ryan Fritze. He will inherit loaded bases, but there are two outs. AND FRITZE’S FIRST PITCH HITS ANDREW SOHN AND THAT WILL FORCE HOME THE TYING RUN. WE ARE ALL TIED UP AT 5 AND THE BASES ARE STILL JACKED FOR GRANT HEYMAN. There’s been several pitches close to hitting Goldeyes tonight and the Canaries’ pitching staff have now hit their second. Heyman pops it up high on the first pitch and he is out to end the inning, but the Goldeyes do tie it up. We head to 9.
Top of 9th:
McVey still pitching for the Fish, and he is up against Burt Reynolds first. He hits it hard and deep but Cruzado is there to make the catch and record the out. Tyler Wolfe will now bat. Wolfe grounds out to Sohn at short and there’s two outs and no runners on for the catcher Aaron Gretz. McVey with a big strikeout of Gretz to end the inning! The Goldeyes have sat down the past 13 straight Canaries’ batters We head to the bottom of nine, and the score: The Winnipeg Goldeyes 5, The Sioux Falls Canaries 5.
Bottom of 9th:
The Goldeyes will now have a chance to walk-it-off, after battling back all game to tie it. Fritze is back for more on the mound for the Birds, and he will face Reynaldo Rodriguez first. Rodriguez draws the full count walk and the winning run is on base for Matt McCann, who is now hitting in Reggie Abercrombie’s place after Reggie was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. McCann sac bunts Rodriguez into scoring position at second and now the Goldeyes will get a couple of cracks to bring him home with one out. Cruzado swings and misses and he is down on strikes. Two outs, Rodriguez on second, David Bergin at the plate. The Canaries are going to intentionally walk Bergin to bring up Kevin Garcia, who is hitting at .500 so far this year. Runners on first and second with two down for Garcia. Garcia is hit by the first pitch he sees, and the bases are loaded for Josh Mazzola. That is a third hit batsman for the Canaries tonight. Mazzola pops it way, way, way up and the Gretz gets under it in foul territory to retire the side and again the Canaries manage to escape. We will head to extras.
Top of 10th:
New pitcher for the Fish is right-hander Jack Charleston. Charleston worked a perfect top of nine yesterday in relief of Kevin McGovern. Dan Motl to start things up. Motl grounds out to McCann who has done a bang-up job since coming into the game at third. Blake Schmit is now up. And he too will groundout to McCann. Two away now for the DH Jabari Henry. Henry hits the first pitch deep to left and it just stays in the park. It’s a double for Henry who is now in scoring position and Chris Grayson is up with two down. And they will intentionally walk the left-hitting Grayson in favour of the right-hitting Chris Jacobs, so we will get a rightie-on-rightie matchup. Runners on first and second with two down. The entire infield comes in for a mound visit. Henry’s hit is the first for the Birds since the 4th inning. Jacobs with a broken bat single that drives in the go-ahead run, Fiala will bat and there is now runners on the corners. 6-5 Canaries. Fiala hits it out to right and Mazzola is able to make a running catch to end the inning, but Canaries take the lead back, it’s 6-5. Last chance for the Goldeyes coming up.
Bottom of 10th:
Looking to save things here for the Sioux Falls Canaries is 29-year old rightie James Jones. Leading off is Jordan Ebert. Ebert strikes out and Andrew Sohn is up. Sohn grounds it to third, but Fiala is unable to scoop it up and Sohn is safe at first without a throw. Wild pitch to Grant Heyman and Sohn will get to second without a throw. 1-0 to Heyman, 1 down, Sohn on second. HEYMAN HITS A HARD SINGLE. Sohn tries for home but is caught in the run down and he is out and there are now 2 men down with Heyman on first for Reynaldo Rodriguez. Rodriguez hits it to right but Chris Grayson gets under it and the ball game is over.
The Canaries pick up the victory, 6-5, to improve to 3-5. The Goldeyes drop to 5-3. The winning pitcher is Ryan Fritze, and James Jones records the save in the 10th. Jack Charleston will take the loss for the Fish. The rubber match of this three game set takes place tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Shaw Park.
The Canaries scored 6 runs on 9 hits, and the Goldeyes scored 5 runs on 13 hits. The story of this game was that the Canaries did a very good job of limiting the damage. Goldeyes were constantly threatening for big innings but never got one, while the Canaries had a big 4-run third inning and scored the winner in the top half of the 10th.
Thank you for joining us tonight on our live blog. Good night!