WINNIPEG, Manitoba 8-10-2010 – Louis Ott homered for the second day in a row and three relievers combined to throw five shutout innings as the Gary SouthShore RailCats won their fifth game in row, downing the Winnipeg Goldeyes 7-3 Tuesday night at a rainy Canwest Park.
The five straight wins match the RailCats largest win streak of the season and Tuesday’s result vaulted the RailCats ahead of both Winnipeg and Joliet and into sole possession of third place in the Northern League. The RailCats have won each of the first two games of this series from the Goldeyes and have not trailed at any point, leading from the outset each of the last two nights.
Tuesday’s game began much like Monday’s with Cristian Guerrero – as he had one day earlier – singling in a first inning run off Winnipeg starter Antony Bello (3-6). The RailCats were not content with one run in the first, however, with Louis Ott walking later in the inning with the bases loaded to stretch the lead to 2-0.
In the third, the RailCats got Jay Pecci to second base with two outs when Tanner Townsend stepped to the plate. On a 3-2 pitch, Townsend smacked a line drive into center that Aharon Eggleston dove for and could not come up with, driving Pecci in to score and getting Townsend to third with a triple. Pecci collected a two-out RBI hit of his own in the fourth to make it 4-0.
Before the game, the RailCats signed veteran left-hander Todd Moser, who pitched earlier in the year for the Schaumburg Flyers. Moser was solid early, working in and out of trouble in the first three innings to keep the Goldeyes off the board while the ‘Cats put the pressure on Bello. Winnipeg, however, would score three times in the fourth on three Moser walks to end the lefty’s night as he allowed five hits and three earned runs in 4.0 innings, walking four and striking out three.
Zeb Engle (4-2) replaced Moser in the fifth and got the big day from the RailCats bullpen started. Pitching for the second night in a row, Engle pitched around a one-out infield hit in the fifth with a pair of strikeouts, retired the side in order in the sixth and even got the first out in the seventh to earn the win. Aaron Cook replaced Engle and finished the seventh then came back out to work the eighth.
Winnipeg would put the first two runners on in the eighth inning on a Luis Alen hit and an error before Cook got the next two batters to fly out. Zach Williams would walk to load the bases – bringing the go-ahead run to the plate – when the RailCats went to the bullpen for Andy Shipman, who got Eggleston to ground out to end the inning. Shipman would work a perfect ninth for his 18th save.
Ott, who had eight home runs in his six-year career entering Monday’s game, hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning of that game and again delivered a huge homer Tuesday night. With one out in the seventh and Townsend on first base, Ott drove a Brandon Forshee pitch out to right to make it 6-3. Ott and Townsend would hit back-to-back triples in the ninth to score a run and provide the final margin.
The RailCats had 14 hits in the game highlighted by a 4-for-4 night from Townsend. The RailCats third baseman stepped into the box in the ninth a home run shy of the cycle and just missed a homer, tripling off the left field fence. Adam Klein went 3-for-6 and scored twice and Ott had four RBI in the win. Brett Wallace and Juan Diaz had two hits each of the Goldeyes eight hits.
The RailCats (39-36) and Goldeyes (38-37) play game three of their big series Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Rookie left-hander Andy Weeks (0-0, 4.59 ERA) will start for the RailCats with left-hander Jason Mackintosh (1-2, 5.06 ERA) going for the Goldeyes. The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.
Notes: The RailCats have at least 13 hits in each of their last three games, 46 in total … the RailCats have homered in seven straight games … the ‘Cats last five-game winning streak was June 5-10 against Lake County and Rockford … the RailCats have won four of five games in Winnipeg this year and have clinched the season series, which they now lead 7-4 … Tuesday’s game was delayed 1:01 at the start by rain … Winnipeg’s Kevin West was ejected from the Goldeyes dugout while arguing in the fifth inning.