The Winnipeg Goldeyes took a 6-5 lead into the ninth inning on Thursday night. Closer Patrick Keating couldn't hold it.
Keating gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Brian Burgamy, as the St. Paul Saints came from behind and beat the Goldeyes 7-6.
It was devastating loss for Winnipeg. In Kansas City, the Gary SouthShore RailCats defeated the Kansas City T-Bones 5-3 to move 2 1/2 games ahead of Winnipeg in the race for the American Association's Wild Card spot. The 53-43 Goldeyes have only four games remaining and Gary's magic number is now two.
St. Paul opened the scoring with a run off Matt Rusch in the first, but the Goldeyes answered in the bottom half, as Tyler Graham beat out an infield hit and de Caster hit a two-run homer, his second homer since joining the Goldeyes in early August.
After St. Paul got to Rusch for three in the top of the second, the Goldeyes chipped away.
Mazzola hit his 16th homer of the year in the fourth to cut the Saints lead to 4-3, but St. Paul put up another run in the fifth and took a 5-3 advantage.
But in the sixth, the Goldeyes came all the way back. Ray Sadler led off with a double and then Casey Haerther was safe on an error. After a wild pitch sent Sadler to third and Haerther to second, Luis Alen doubled to score both runners and tie the game at 5-5. With Alen at second, Amos Ramon delivered the second straight double. It scored Alen and gave the Goldeyes a 6-5 lead.
In the end, the Goldeyes were outhit by the Saints 16-12. Ray Sadler had a big night for Winnipeg, going three-for-five with a run scored, while Luis Alen went two-for-four with a run scored and two driven in. Ryan Scoma had two hits in five trips and raised his batting average to .349.
Jon Plefka (1-0, 0.92 ERA) got credit for the victory for the Saints. Keating (4-3, 3.76 ERA) suffered the heartbreaking loss for Winnipeg.