WINNIPEG, Man. - Justin Vernia became the third Sioux City pitcher to reach the 10-win plateau as he pitched 6 1/3 innings to lead the Explorers to a 6-2 win over Winnipeg in the first of a three-game American Association weekend series here Friday.
Vernia joined Taylor Jordan and Luis Mateo with 10 wins on the Sioux City staff. Jordan is no longer with the team after signing with a team in the Chinese League. Vernia gave up two runs on eight hits and walk while logging one strike out.
Jose Sermo gave the X's the early lead on a solo homer in the second inning and Luis Durango hiked the edge to 2-0 in the third on a single to plate Dexture McCall.
Winnipeg answered in its half of the third on a two-run home run by Tucker Nathans to tie the score at 2-2 but McCall was involved again when Sioux City regained the lead in the fifth. McCall legged out a double to right before coming around on Michael Lang's single that dropped just over Goldeye second baseman Jordan Ebert into short right field.
Sioux City added three runs in the eighth to increase its lead to 6-2 on rbi singles by recent addition Dean Green, Blake Schmit and Dylan Kelly. Schmit, who has been playing left field in recent games after spending much of his American Association career at shortstop, made two difficult diving catches to help keep the Goldeyes in check.
Winnipeg is well out of the playoff race, 11.5 games behind North Division pacesetter St. Paul. Sioux City on the other hand won for the 61st time and moved 9.5 games ahead of second-place Kansas City in the South after the T-Bones fell 4-3 to Cleburne Friday.