Joe Bircher Pitches Birds To 7-4 Win Over K.C.
Photo Courtesy: Ryan Alexander Photography
SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Sioux Falls Canaries scored five runs over the first two innings, and rode a strong performance from starting pitcher Joe Bircher to defeat the Kansas City T-Bones by the final score of 7-4 on Wednesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Canaries starting pitcher Joe Bircher allowed one run over the first five innings, picking up five strikeouts on the way to his first win of the season. Bircher (1-5, 3.29 ERA) threw 110 pitches over six innings, holding the potent T-bones offense to three runs on six hits over six innings.
T-bones starter Mike Kickham suffered his first loss of the season, giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits over six innings. The former major leaguer racked up a season high, eight strikeouts in the loss, but had trouble keeping the ball in the ballpark.
Canaries shortstop Blake Schmit put the Birds on the board in the bottom of the first inning, sending a lead-off homerun over the wall in left-center.
Kansas City tied the game up at 1-1 in the top of the second inning when infielder Brett Wiley hit a sharp, two-out double into the gap in right-center to bring home Anthony Gallas.
The Birds regained the lead in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs with all nine batters coming to the plate. Canaries catcher Nolan Johnson blew the game open with a two-out, two-run single. Johnson also scored a run in the inning, finishing the night 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored.
David Bergin extended the Canaries lead in the bottom of the 5th inning against Kickham, sending a one-out, solo homerun into the party deck in right field to make it a 6-1 ball game. Bergin homered in back-to-back games, and is now tied for fourth in the American Association in long-balls this season.
Wiley once again lead the T-bones offensive attack, finishing the night 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI. Wiley had a big series against Sioux Falls, going 6-for-10 with two doubles, two homeruns, and 10 RBI.
Schmit finished the night going 2-for-3 at the plate with a homerun and two runs scored. The Eden Prairie, MN native continues to lead the American Association with a .382 batting average, and has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, including six straight.
The Canaries continue their week-long homestand on Thursday night when they welcome their North Division rivals, the Winnipeg Goldeyes to the Birdcage for the first time this season. LHP Kris Regas (3-2, 5.97 ERA) will make his third start of the season against Goldeye’s LHP Kevin McGovern (2-1, 4.00 ERA).
Thursday night is also Thirsty Thursday at the Birdcage! Fans (21+) will enjoy Happy Hour prices all game long, including $2 beers until the end of the 7th inning. Contact the Canaries ticket office for information regarding single game or season ticket options by calling 605-336-6060 or visit the website at www.sfcanaries.com for more information.