Hard-throwing right-hander Matt Jackson didn't quite get the script right, but he still gave the Goldeyes another terrific start.
As a result, the Fish won their fourth straight game, a 7-2 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries and remain a game and a half behind the Gary SouthShore RailCats in the race for the American Association wild card spot with nine games to play.
Friday night in front of 4,656 spectators at Sioux Falls Stadium, Jackson pitched seven complete innings, allowing only two runs on six scattered hits as the Goldeyes built an early 5-0 lead and coasted to their 50th win of the season.
It was somewhat of an anti-climactic performance by Jackson after Chris Salamida, Matt Rusch and Jason Jarvis each pitched complete game shutouts in St. Paul to give the Fish their first three victories in this four-game road winning streak.
“It's been pretty much the same thing all week,” said Goldeyes pitching coach Jamie Vermilyea. “Get on the board early, let the starter do his thing, play good defense and pick up the win.
“Jackson threw the ball well. He was able to throw his breaking ball for strikes, kept the fastball down in the zone and worked inside. He pitched great.”
The Goldeyes started early as Tyler Graham singled, went to second on a walk to Fehlandt Lentini moved over to third on a double-steal and scored on a passed ball. Lentini then scored on a sacrifice fly by Yurendell de Caster and Winnipeg had a 2-0 lead after one.
Luis Alen hit a solo homer in the second to make it 3-0; Ray Sadler hit a solo homer in the third to make it 4-0; and Casey Haerther singled in the fourth and eventually scored on an RBI single by Lentini to make it 5-0.
Sioux Falls scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth, but the Goldeyes put it away in the sixth as Alen walked, Kevin Moesquit singled and both runners later scored on a two-run single by Lentini.
Lentini, now hitting out of the No. 2 hole in the lineup, had two hits and three runs batted in to lead the Fish. Alen had two hits in three trips, scored twice and drove in a run and Sadler had a pair of hits, a run scored and an RBI. The Goldeyes finished with 10 hits on the night.
Jackson (3-0, 3.31 ERA) picked up the win, while Sioux Falls starter Kyle Vazquez (2-4, 5.14 ERA) suffered the loss.
The Goldeyes and Canaries will meet in Game 2 of this three-game weekend series Saturday night in Sioux Falls. The game can be heard live on TSN 1290.