Winnipeg, MB-The Explorers pushed across five runs in the fourth inning and never looked back in a 9-2 victory over the first-place Goldeyes Wednesday night at Shaw Park.
Sioux City (22-30) guaranteed its second series win over Winnipeg this season, having won four of the first five contests against the Goldeyes. The Explorers opened the scoring with a two-spot in the third. Oscar Mesa set the table with a single to left. Mesa moved into scoring position at second on a ground out. Following a strikeout, Andres Perez (pictured) doubled to center and drove in Mesa with the game’s first run. Perez advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a Peter Barrows single.
Winnipeg (34-16) tallied its first mark on a solo home run by Luis Alen leading off the bottom of the third. With Sioux City at the plate, the next half-inning proved to be the Goldeyes undoing. Tom Mendonca started off with a walk. Todd Jennings singled to left. Chris Escobar singled to load the bases. With one out, Tim Colwell singled to center and brought in two more for a 4-1 lead. Rene Tosoni followed with a single to right that scored Escobar. Colwell came in on a base hit by Andres Perez. With two outs, Tosoni trotted home on a single to right from Amos Ramon and it was 7-1 Explorers.
Sioux City added to its lead in the sixth. The X’s made it 9-1 on a two-run home run by Andres Perez. Rene Tosoni had led off with a double to center. Ray Sadler homered for Winnipeg in the seventh for the game’s final margin.
Explorers right-hander John Straka picked up the win. Straka (5-4) did not walk a batter for a fourth straight start. He worked seven innings and gave up two earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts. Straka has 18 strikeouts with no walks in his last four outings. For the Goldeyes, Matt Jackson took the loss. Jackson (7-3) lasted just three-and-two-thirds and allowed seven earned runs on eleven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Andres Perez was the hitting star of the night for the Explorers. Perez went 4-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two singles. He drove in four and scored twice. Todd Jennings had a three-hit game, while Oscar Mesa and Rene Tosoni each added two hits. Donnie Webb went 2-for-4 for the Goldeyes. Luis Alen and Ray Sadler each hit solo homers. The X’s outhit Winnipeg 16-7. Neither team made an error.
Sioux City concludes its three-game road series at North Division leading Winnipeg Thursday night at 7 o’clock. The Explorers return Friday for a six-game home stand against Fargo-Moorhead and Kansas City July 11th-16th. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.