Saturday night at Shaw Park the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Quebec Capitales were engaged in a battle of wills. That is, it was a close ball game until the top of the ninth.
In their final at bat of the night, the Capitales put up six runs to blow open a 3-2 ball game and leave the ballpark in downtown Winnipeg with a 9-2 victory.
It was Winnipeg's first loss since Game 2 of the series against Wichita back on Tuesday and it dropped Winnipeg's record in the American Association's North Division to 15-13. After two straight victories, the Goldeyes will now have to win on Sunday afternoon to win their second straight series.
With the win, Quebec improved to 17-9 in the Can-Am League.
"We had plenty of opportunities tonight, but when you don't cash in your chips it will catch up to you," said Goldeyes manager Rick Forney. "We had chances to grab the momentum, but we didn't get hits when we needed hits."
Quebec opened the scoring off Goldeyes starter Pete Gehle in the first inning as Sebastien Boucher drove in his first run of the game, but Winnipeg rallied to score one in the third when Tyler Graham singled and scored on double by Amos Ramon.
Winnipeg took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Josh Mazzola walked, went to third on a double by Casey Haerther and scored on a ground out by Fehlandt Lentini.
Quebec scored two in the top of the eighth on an RBI single by Jonathan Malo and another RBI single by Sebastien Boucher. The Capitales then scored six runs on five hits in the ninth and this one was over.
Lentini led the Goldeyes with three hits in four trips. He also knocked in a run. Sebastien Boucher went three-for-five for Quebec with a run scored and three driven in.
"You need to grab momentum early and keep it and while we had our chances, we just couldn't grab that momentum," Forney conceded. "They (the Capitales) got big hits late in the game, but we didn't get any hits when we needed them.
"Our bullpen bent a little tonight but that's going to happen. They've been great all year. Tomorrow we have Matt Rusch going and maybe we can get seven or eight innings out of Matt."
Quebec reliever Kyle Regnault (1-0, 4.91 ERA) got the win, while Kaohi Downing (0-2, 3.38 ERA) suffered the loss.
The two teams meet again tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 in the rubber match of the series. Rusch (4-2, 3.92 ERA) will get the start for Winnipeg, while Dustin Crenshaw (4-1, 522 ERA) will take to the bump for the Capitales.