The Winnipeg Goldeyes (28-26) used a strong pitching performance and timely insurance runs to down the Kansas City Monarchs 5-4 in game two of their three-game set at Blue Cross Park Wednesday evening.

Box Score

A two-run eighth inning turned out to be the difference maker as the Goldeyes clinched a series win over the Monarchs (23-27).

The Goldeyes opened the scoring early as Ramón Bramasco scored on a double play to make it 1-0 in the first inning.

Nothing would come across until the fourth inning when Rob Emery walloped a solo home run that traveled 415 feet to deep left field to make it 2-0. That was Emery’s eighth home run of the season, which has him just one back of the lead among American Association catchers.

The lead would not last, however, as the Monarchs would knot things up on a blast of their own in the fifth inning. A two-run home run down the right-field line from Herbert Iser made it 2-2 after the previous batter, Bryan Aguilar, recorded Kansas City’s first hit of the game.

The Goldeyes were not discouraged by the Monarchs’ top half, as they returned the favour in the bottom of the fifth as Bramasco scored his second run of the game on a Miles Simington single to centre field to give Winnipeg a 3-2 lead.

That third run would chase Monarchs starter Jackson Goddard (L, 0-4) who lasted just 4.2 innings in the loss. He allowed three runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three.

Adding some much-needed insurance in the eighth inning, the Goldeyes plated two more to make it 5-2. A Keshawn Lynch single scored Simington, followed by Dayson Croes coming across on a wild pitch from Monarchs reliever Jackson McClelland.

The lead would be enough to prop up yet another fantastic performance from Goldeyes All-Star pitcher Joey Matulovich (W, 6-2). He twirled a gem, allowing just the two runs on two hits while striking out five.

We’re running out of things to say about Joey Matulovich.

— Winnipeg Goldeyes (@Wpg_Goldeyes) July 11, 2024

Things got a little dicey in the ninth inning, as the Monarchs tacked two more runs on after a Frankie Tostado triple scored one, with Tostado coming around shortly after on a throwing error.

The threat would not come to pass, as Nick Trogrlic-Iverson (S, 4) would shut the door in the ninth to earn the save.

“It was a good game, obviously Joey Matulovich continues to be fantastic. He gave up a weak hit and then the home run on an 0-2 count and that was all the damage done to him,” said Goldeyes manager Logan Watkins. “Offensively we came up with some of those clutch hits that we’ve been talking about. Keshawn Lynch came up big in the eighth and it ended up being the difference.”

The Goldeyes will look for the series sweep over the Monarchs Thursday at 6:30 p.m. CDT as big left-hander Travis Seabrooke (3-1, 3.21 ERA) takes the mound for Winnipeg. Kansas City will counter with righty Kevin Milam (1-2, 7.04 ERA).