JOPLIN — The Joplin Blasters evened their record at 2-2 with a 10-5 win Sunday over the Winnipeg Goldeyes at historic Joe Becker Stadium.

JOPLIN — The Joplin Blasters evened their record at 2-2 with a 10-5 win Sunday over the Winnipeg Goldeyes at historic Joe Becker Stadium.
The Blasters collected a franchise record 16 hits for the 539 fans in attendance, who saw the home team scored one run in the second, one in the second, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and three in the seventh, while Winnipeg only managed one in the fourth and four in the sixth.
Geraldo Valentin, playing by far his best game in a Blasters uniform, led the way with four hits and he doubled the number of hits from the first three games of the season. Valentin increased his average 200 points to .400 (6 for 15) on the season. He scored a pair or runs in the win Sunday, a game after driving in a pair of runs in the win Saturday.
Willie Cabrera and Will Soto also highlighted Joplin's offensive attack, with Cabrera and Soto each good for three hits and then seven RBI between them (Soto four, Cabrera three). Cabrera doubled twice, while Soto collected his first home run in a Blasters uniform and joined Cabrera in the doubles department.
The first seven spots in the Blasters lineup each scored at least one run and seven of the nine spots delivered at least one hit, barring second baseman Mitch Glasser and catcher Michael Pair.
Soto led off the second with a solo home run.
The Blasters went ahead 2-0 in the third, Cabrera's first double scoring Valentin after the latter hit a two-out single to start the rally.
Joplin built on its 2-1 lead with the four runs in the fifth, highlighted by a Cabrera two-out, two-run double and a Soto two-out, two-run double. Jake Taylor worked a walk between RBI doubles.
The Goldeyes answered with four runs in the top of the sixth, but the Blasters closed out the scoring with one in the sixth and three in the seventh.
Zack Burling hit a RBI double scoring Jesus Solarzano for the run in the sixth, while Soto's RBI single highlighted the seventh.
Josue Montanez earned the win for the Blasters, allowing four runs on four hits over five innings. Montanez recorded a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, fanning eight and walking two.
Blaster relievers Tyler Herr, Victor Capellan and Winston Abreu combined for 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Joplin had the day off Monday and return to action today at home against South Division rival Wichita Wingnuts, slated for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch from Joe Becker. The Wingnuts started their season 1-3 against the Lincoln Saltdogs, who lead the Central Division.
The Blasters stood in a three-way tie for first entering Monday, joined by the Texas AirHogs (a combination of the Grand Prairie and Amarillo franchises) and the defending American Association champions Laredo Lemurs.
The Wingnuts are managed by Pete Rose Jr., the son of the legendary player who logged a MLB record 4,256 hits over 24 seasons (1963-86) with the Cincinnati Reds, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Montreal Expos. Rose surpassed Ty Cobb's record of 4,192 hits during the 1985 season.
Rose Jr. was selected in the 12th round of the 1988 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles and the Cincinnati native reached the bigs with the Reds in the 1997 season, playing 11 games that season and recording his first MLB hit against Kansas City Royals pitcher Kevin Appier.
Rose Jr. only reached the majors in that 1997 season and he returned to playing affiliated minor league baseball through 2002 and then played independent baseball and in the Mexican League until 2009, for a 21-year professional career.
Rose Jr.'s previous coaching experience includes hitting coach of the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League and manager of three different teams in the Chicago White Sox organization. Rose Jr. did not coach in 2015.
Of course, Rose Jr. wears No. 14 for the Wingnuts, a number made famous by his father, "Charlie Hustle." Between father and son, the Roses had 4,258 hits.
Rose Jr.'s minor league career included 1,918 games played, 1,877 hits, 897 runs scored, 357 doubles, 30 triples, 158 homers and 1,027 RBI.

Entering the start of their series Monday against the Gary Southshore Railcats, the Sioux City Explorers owned a 0-4 record after being swept in the opening series by the Sioux Falls Canaries.
Perhaps the best news for the Explorers was that the RailCats similarly began their season 0-4 with a sweep at the hands of the St. Paul Saints.
Reigning defensive player of the year Matty Johnson, a former Crowder College standout and Boston Red Sox farmhand, began his first four games hitting .133 (2 for 15) with a pair of singles and three walks. His rough start included being caught stealing three times. On the bright side, he's making contact, with just one strikeout.
Johnson made no errors last season in center field for the Explorers, helping the team reach the American Association playoffs. Overall, in 100 regular season games, Johnson batted .264 with 80 runs scored, 112 hits, 16 doubles, six triples, two home runs and 38 RBI, plus 42 stolen bases.
At the start of last season, Sioux City split its four-game series against Sioux Falls.