06/30/2014 11:01 PM
There was quite a fireworks display at Shaw Park on Monday night. And that was before the official fireworks display.
Tyler Kuhn hit a grand slam home run and had seven RBI; Reggie Abercrombie, Josh Mazzola, Casey Haerther and Donnie Webb also hit home runs; and in total, the Winnipeg Goldeyes had 22 hits and scored 23 runs.
With an 8-3 win in the opener and an 15-1 shellacking in the night cap, the Goldeyes not only swept a Monday night doubleheader from the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, they swept a four-game series in the process.
After taking two on Monday, the Goldeyes have won five straight, are 28-14 on the season and five-and-a-half games ahead of the St. Paul Saints and six games ahead of Fargo in the race for first in the American Association’s North Division.
In Game 1, Kuhn led the way with his first homer of the year and the Goldeyes first grand slam of the season as Winnipeg scored eight times in their final three at bats to win 8-3.
“I’m a singles and doubles hitter,” Kuhn said earlier this season. “I don’t even step to the plate thinking about hitting home runs.”
In almost seven full seasons of professional baseball, the 27-year-old Goldeyes shortstop went into Monday night’s first game of the doubleheader with only 17 career round trippers. He had yet to hit a home run this season when he yanked a Kevin Fuqua fastball over the right field fence for a sixth-inning grand slam, as he and the Goldeyes put an exclamation point on the first rout of the evening.
Not to be outdone, Goldeyes first baseman Casey Haerther hit a solo shot and went three-for-three with three RBI and a run scored.
Starter Matt Jackson (6-2, 2.98 ERA) picked up the win for Winnipeg while Fargo’s ace, Jake Laber (6-2, 4.10 ERA) suffered the loss for Fargo.
In Game 2, there was no doubt from the first inning onward. Winnipeg scored three runs in the first on a Mazzola solo homer and Webb’s two-run blast.
The Fish proceeded to put up two more in the second; four more in the third; two in the fourth on a triple by Webb and a two-run shot by Abercrombie; and four more in the fifth as Mazzola drove in four runs, Abercrombie and Brock Bond each drove in three and Kuhn and Webb each drove in a pair.
Mazzola had three hits while Haerther, Webb and Abercrombie all had two-hit games. Mazzola was on base four times and scored twice while Webb got on base three times and scored all three times. Abercrombie, Bond and Ryan Pineda each scored twice. Every Goldeyes player reached base at least once.
Starter Chandler Barnard (2-0, 2.92 ERA), who kind of got lost in the hitting clinic on Monday night, picked up the win for Winnipeg. Barnard allowed one run on just four hits and recorded his first complete game victory as a Goldeye. Meanwhile, Fargo starter Justin Erasmus, (2-2, 6.75 ERA) who lasted only an inning and a third, suffered the loss.
“I’ve had a number of complete games under my belt and that’s the most fun,” said Barnard, who turned a visit from manager Rick Forney in the top of the second into his best start of the season. “You want to go out there and finish what you start.
“When Rick came out he was awesome. He just told me my sinker was really sinking and I shouldn’t worry about anything and just throw strikes and get outs. It was confidence-building visit to the mound and Rick was awesome. I made a couple of adjustments and things just came together.”