Solid Starting Rotation Has Goldeyes Atop Division

Solid Starting Rotation Has Goldeyes Atop Division

By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)

It hasn’t been the most stellar start to the season for Fabian Williamson, but the Goldeyes’ left-handed starter found some redemption Monday night in front of 4,251 fans at Shaw Park in downtown Winnipeg.

Williamson (2-3, 3.72 ERA) captured the win in Winnipeg’s first home game since June 3, helping the Fish to a 4-0 victory over the Lincoln Saltdogs. The 23-year-old Seattle Mariners 2006 draft pick cruised through Lincoln batters while throwing a team season-high 11 strikeouts in 6.2 shutout innings.

The North Division-leading Goldeyes (17-6) continue their torrid pace, going 5-2 on their last southern swing, upping their road record to 11-5 on the year.

“The key to being successful in this league, you have to find a way to be just as good playing on the road as at home because there’s some tough places, tough venues to play in,” said Winnipeg manager Rick Forney prior to Monday’s matchup.

Forney has benefitted from stellar pitching from his starting rotation. Matt Rusch (3-0, 1.72 ERA) was named the American Association Pitcher of the Week on Sunday following 15 shutout innings in a pair of road wins in Lincoln and Fargo-Moorhead.

Meanwhile last week’s AA Pitcher of the Week, Ace Walker (3-0, 3.00 ERA), surpassed a Goldeyes milestone in a win over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Friday night. Walker eclipsed his manager, Rick Forney, as the franchise’s all-time strikeout leader with 314.

Walker, now in his fifth season with the club, holds Winnipeg’s all-time records in wins, strikeouts, complete games, and innings pitched.