The Winnipeg Goldeyes desperately needed a victory and Chris Salamida delivered.
The Goldeyes veteran left-handed starter pitched his league-leading fourth complete game, as the Fish put a halt to a three-game losing streak and beat the Wichita Wingnuts 5-1 in front of 5,911 on Sunday afternoon at Shaw Park.
Salamida's line was sensational: nine complete innings, one run, five hits, eight strikeouts and three walks.
"You play every game to win," said Salamida when asked if there was any extra pressure on him after the Goldeyes had lost the first three games of this four-game series to Wichita. "As a team, we just want to win every game, but now we have to take the momentum we've built with this win into the series against St. Paul."
With the win, the Goldeyes improved to 48-32 and, after Sioux City beat St. Paul 9-7, the Fish now lead the second-place Saints (44-34) by three games. The Goldeyes and Saints will meet in a three-game series this week, beginning Tuesday night at Shaw Park.
The Goldeyes opened the scoring in the first inning as Brock Bond led off with a walk, went to second on a single by Jake Blackwood and scored on a single by Tyler Kuhn.
After Wichita tied it in the top of the third, the Goldeyes answered in the bottom of the inning, as Blackwood beat out an infield hit, Casey Haerther beat out an infield hit and Blackwood scored -- what turned out to be the winning run -- on a single by Reggie Abercrombie.
In the sixth, with Abercrombie on second, the Goldeyes put the game away. Catcher Luis Alen hit a belt-high fastball from Wichita starter Tim Brown over the left-center field wall for his fifth home run of the season and with that one swing of the bat, the Goldeyes had a 4-1 lead.
They added a fifth run in the seventh, as Bond beat out an infield hit, went to second on a single by Blackwood, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kuhn and scored on a sacrifice fly by Haerther.
The rest of the work was done by Salamida and his defense.
"I always try to minimize my pitches," Salamida said. "I'm a pitch to contact guy who has a great defense behind him. They were outstanding behind me today. I don't think we've made an error in a long time. The defense was just great again for me today."
Salamida (6-3, 3.21 ERA) got the victory, while Brown (8-4, 3.40 ERA) took the loss.