The Winnipeg Goldeyes fell behind 3-0 after the top of the first on Thursday night. But this time, they didn't wait to start swinging their bats.
The Goldeyes came back with a pair in the bottom of the first, another in the third, two in the fourth and two more in the fifth and then got great relief from Kaohi Downing, Brendan Lafferty and Patrick Keating, as the Fish beat the St. Paul Saints 7-5 to win their second straight over St. Paul this week.
"If you're going to spot somebody a field goal, better to do it in the first inning," said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney. "It was a big night for Ryan Scoma with three hits and a good game for everybody at the plate. And Luis (Alen) has had a couple of good games the last two nights, driving in some runs. It's good to see some of our hitters starting to feel sexy at the plate."
When asked about that comment, Forney laughed: "Good hitters like to feel sexy at the plate. If you don't feel that way, you want to get out of there as quickly as you can. Some of our guys look like they're starting to feel sexy in the batter's box. That's a good thing."
With the win, the Goldeyes improved to 23-21 and took over second place in the American Association's North Division from the Saints, who fell to 23-22.
The Goldeyes had two out and were looking at the wrong end of a 3-0 deficit heading to the bottom of the first when Ray Sadler beat out an infield hit. Casey Haerther then doubled home Sadler and Josh Mazzola singled home Haerther as Winnipeg cut the St. Paul lead to 3-2.
The Goldeyes tied it up with a run in the third, as Mike Coles walked stole second and scored on a single by Sadler.
Winnipeg took the lead in fourth as Fehlandt Lentini drew a leadoff walk, Ryan Scoma doubled to put runners on second and third and then Luis Alen drove home Lentini on a ground out to short. Nick Liles singled to drive home Scoma and the Goldeyes had a 5-3 lead.
They stretched that lead to 7-3 in the fifth, as Haerther singled to lead it off, Lentini walked, Scoma singled to load the bases and then Alen singled home Haerther and Lentini with the eventual winning runs.
St. Paul added a couple of runs in the sixth, but Downing, Lafferty and Keating came in to pick up starter Mark Hardy and Winnipeg got back to .500 at home (9-9).
Hardy (5-2, 3.27 ERA) went only 5.2 innings and gave up five runs on nine hits, but still earned the win, while Keating (1.33 ERA) picked up his eighth save. Starter Dylan Thomas (0-2, 14.81 ERA) took the loss.
"Mark didn't look comfortable in that first inning coming off the rubber, but he settled down and pitched into the sixth," said Forney. "After the first, he hung up a bunch of zeroes and gave us a chance to win."
Scoma led the Goldeyes' 10-hit effort with three hits in four trips. He also scored a run. Haerther had two hits, scored two runs and drove in one and Sadler had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run. Alen had only one hit but he drove in three including the winner.
The Goldeyes and Saints will meet in the final of this four game series on Friday night, 7:05 p.m. at Shaw Park.