On Thursday night Jason Jarvis was the star and now the Goldeyes are only a game-and-a-half out of the lead in the American Association's wild card hunt.
For the third straight night at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, the Winnipeg Goldeyes shut out the St. Paul Saints. This time, in the final game of a four-game series, Jarvis gave up only five hits as the Goldeyes beat the Saints 3-0 to win their third straight game in St. Paul and win the four-game series 3-1.
After losing 14-1 in the series opener, the Goldeyes pitchers went lights out on St. Paul. Chris Salamida, Matt Rusch and Jarvis pitched 27 consecutive innings of shutout baseball. It's the first time the Goldeyes have ever gone back-to-back-to-back with complete game shutouts, or even three consecutive shutouts for that matter.
“Our pitchers came out and threw strikes in the last two games and Jarvis just kept it going,” said Goldeyes pitching coach Jamie Vermilyea. “He pitched his butt off tonight.
“No matter what level you're playing at, you don't see three complete game shutouts in a row. That's something that just doesn't happen. I'll wager that's the first time it's happened in league history. It's been amazing to watch.”
With the victory, the Goldeyes improved to 49-41 on the season and pulled to within a game-and-a-half of the 50-39 Gary SouthShore RailCats. Gary lost 5-4 to Wichita Thursday afternoon.
The Goldeyes opened the scoring in the second inning, as Ray Sadler walked, went to second on a single by Josh Mazzola and scored on a single by Luis Alen.
Winnipeg made it 3-0 in the fourth on solo homers by Mazzola and Alen and that was it. Jarvis and St. Paul's Anthony Claggett were almost perfect for the rest of the game as both starters pitched complete games.
“You can't pitch better than Jason has in his first two starts for us,” said Vermilyea, referring to the fact that Jarvis was acquired by the Goldeyes from Sioux City 10 days ago. “He works off that fastball and when he gets ahead he threw the slider and sinker ball and kept it in the bottom half of the zone. And you don't throw a shutout without a defense making plays behind him and our defense was great tonight.”
Mazzola and Alen had outstanding games for the Goldeyes. Mazzola, went four-for-four, hit his 14th homer of the season, scored a run, drove in a run and raised his batting average to .294. Alen went two-for-four with a solo homer and an RBI single. The Goldeyes had only eight hits on the night, but they made only one error in the entire four-game series.
Jarvis (6-10, 3.85 ERA) picked up the win, his first as a member of the Goldeyes. Claggett (8-5, 3.26 ERA) suffered the loss for St. Paul.
Right after the game, the Goldeyes jumped on the bus and headed for Sioux Falls, S.D. where they'll open a three-game weekend series against the Sioux Falls Canaries on Friday night. The game can be heard live on TSN 1290, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:30 p.m.
Winnipeg will head home on Monday and open a four-game series against St. Paul on Tuesday night at Shaw Park. Tickets for all Goldeyes games are available through Ticketmaster by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, clicking on Ticketmaster.ca or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the Shaw Park box office.