The Winnipeg Goldeyes (11-12) defeated the East Division leading Kane County Cougars 7-2 at Blue Cross Park Monday evening in the opener of a three-game series.

Box Score

The Goldeyes took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on centre fielder Miles Simington’s double to right field that brought home right fielder and reigning American Association Batter of the Week Max Murphy.

Winnipeg added two more runs in the second. First, designated hitter Ryan Holgate scored from third base on a fielding error, then first baseman Gio Brusa came in on a ground ball double play to make it 3-0.

The Goldeyes increased their lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the third inning on a bases-loaded walk issued to catcher Kevin García and a two-run single to right-centre field off the bat of shortstop Andy Armstrong.

Kane County (14-9) broke through in the sixth inning when second baseman Jared Cushing crossed the plate as the result of at fielding error, and centre fielder Armond Upshaw scored on first baseman Todd Lott’s sacrifice fly to right field.

Winnipeg second baseman Jake McMurray drove in Murphy with a single to right field in the bottom of the seventh to give the Goldeyes a five-run cushion and round out the scoring.

Joey Matulovich (W, 3-0) won for the third time in for starts, allowing two unearned runs on four hits over six innings of work. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. Justin Courtney retired all six batters he faced and Nick Trogrlic-Iverson bent but did not break in the ninth, getting Cushing to ground out with the bases loaded to end the ballgame.

Antonio Carreón (L, 0-2) gave up six runs on seven hits in five innings.

“It was a well-played game all around,” commented Goldeyes manager Logan Watkins. “We played well defensively tonight, obviously we hit the ball well, and Joey Matulovich was fantastic. Justin Courtney came in and made quick work of their order over two innings, and Nick Troglric-Iverson gave up some base hits but no runs. Not much else needs to be said.”

The series continues at 6:30 p.m. CDT Tuesday, with the Goldeyes sending Landen Bourassa (1-1, 4.95 ERA) to the mound. The Cougars counter with fellow right-hander Nick Belzer (2-0, 2.84 ERA).