WINNIPEG, Manitoba Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper admitted to being wary of Winnipeg’s No. 9-hole hitter before this series started.
For good reason. Once again, Amos Ramon came through with a clutch home run in the postseason.
The Goldeyes third baseman cracked a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Goldeyes a two-run lead en route to a 7-3 victory over the Wingnuts in Game 2 of the American Association championship series on Wednesday night at Shaw Park.
"It just seems like the right guys are coming up at the right time and they’re delivering for us," Goldeyes manager Rick Forney said. "That was a big at-bat for Amos. (Ryan) Hinson was throwing a heck of a baseball game against us. We didn’t mount a whole lot of offense until we got that big hit.… Amos battled and got a pitch he could handle."
Ramon cashed in Josh Mazzola, who had led off with a single, and Mike Coles, who had been hit by a pitch.
Winnipeg’s Chris Roberson added some insurance with a two-run double in the eighth inning.
"That (homer) was a big one for us and that was a huge double for Roberson there, especially with the way that ninth inning went," Ramon said. The Wingnuts loaded the bases in the ninth before Ryan Khoury popped out to end the game.
Ramon is hitting .471 in the playoffs.
"I’m just having fun," he said. "All these guys are great and we have a never-say-die attitude in the last series and this series, too, so far. We just never quit and we’ve been like this all season and I’m glad it’s carrying over in the postseason."
The Goldeyes hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 championship series. The rest of the series will be played in Wichita after a day off for travel on Thursday. Game 3 will be Friday at 7 p.m.
“Our backs are against the wall now," Hooper said. "It’s do or die now. That’s a good ball club over there. We get to go home and we’ve won three in a row before.
"You’ve got to keep your heads up. This thing is not over, that’s why we play the best-of-five. We’ll be fine. We’ll be ready to play Friday night, no question.”
Roberson knows what to expect.
"It’s just like that dirty dog in the corner, you can’t lie low on him because he still might bite you," he said. "We have to go in there and do our thing."
The Goldeyes had pulled to within 3-2 in the bottom of the third. Ramon singled, Roberson beat out an infield single and DH Barbaro Canizares walked to load the bases. Mazzola then walked to score Ramon.
Wichita took a 3-1 lead in the top of the second when Jesse Mier cracked a three-run homer off Winnipeg starter Chris Salamida. He scored C.J. Ziegler, who was hit by a pitch, and Greg Porter, who had singled.
The Goldeyes had opened a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Second baseman Yurendell de Caster was hit by a pitch and Canizares followed with a double. De Caster scored on a wild pitch.
"I can’t think of a better position going into Wichita," Forney said. "We settled down and played some great baseball the last six innings and I’m proud of the guys. Everybody seems to be coming through when that opportunity presents itself. You have to have good fortune to make things like that happen."
|Khoury ss||4||0||0||0||Kendall ss||3||1||0||0|
|Kahaulelio 2b||4||0||1||0||Roberson cf||5||0||3||2|
|Rodriguez dh||4||0||1||0||de Caster 2b||4||1||0||0|
|Ziegler 1b||2||1||0||0||Canizares dh||3||0||1||0|
|Porter 3b||4||1||1||0||Mazzola 1b||2||1||1||1|
|Peralta rf||4||0||0||0||Alen c||4||0||0||0|
|Mier c||4||1||2||3||Colres rf||3||2||1||0|
|Conroy cf||3||0||0||0||Day lf||3||0||0||0|
|Stanley lf||3||0||2||0||Ramon 3b||4||2||2||3|
E— Porter, de Caster. LOB— Wichita 7, WInnipeg 8. DP— Winnipeg 1. 2B— Roberson, Canizares. HR — Mier, Ramon. SB — Khoury, Roberson. CS — Peralta, Kendall. S — Day. .
|Hinson L||5 2/3||5||5||5||3||7|
|Salamida W||6 2/3||5||3||3||2||6|
|Beuning S||1 1/3||2||0||0||1||0|
HBP — by Hinson (de Caster, Coles), by Salamida (Khoury, Ziegler). Umpires — home, Tim McCaffrey; first, Joe Pascucci; second, Art Thigpen; third, Dixon Stureman. T — 3:04. A — 5,886.