Bircher Tosses Seven Shutout Innings, But The Birds Fall 3-0
SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Sioux Falls Canaries wrapped up their week-long homestand on Friday night, battling the Sioux City Explorers in front of a sold out crowd of 4,556 fans at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Starting pitcher Joe Bircher put together another masterful performance, but the Birds dropped their fourth straight, losing by the final score of 3-0. Bircher extended his scoreless streak to 15 innings after putting together his second consecutive scoreless outing.
The reigning American Association Pitcher of the Week gave up back-to-back singles in the top half of the first inning, but settled in to a nice groove, retiring the next nine batters faced. The left-hander gave up a lead-off single to Brendan Slattery in the top of the 5th inning before starting a 1-6-3 double play to help keep the game scoreless.
The Explorers threatened again in the top of the 7th inning after Bircher gave up a lead-off single to LeVon Washington and a one-out base hit to Slattery. The left-hander was able to lock down one last time, retiring the final two batters of the inning to leave the runners stranded.
Cody Forsythe matched Bircher every step of the way on Friday night, holding the Canaries offense scoreless on four hits over seven innings of work. The left-hander was quick and efficient in his 14th start of the season, throwing just 73 pitches on the way to his first shutout victory of the season.
Sioux City took their first, and only lead of the night in the top of the 8th innings against relief pitcher Madison Boer. The right-hander walked leadoff batter Derrick Robinson, but retired the next two batters giving up a two-out RBI double to Nate Samson. The X’s put the game away for good in the top of the 9th inning after scoring two runs against left-hander Billy Waltrip.
The Canaries mounted a come-back attempt in the bottom of the 8th inning when Cameron Monger sliced a ground rule double down the right-field line. Monger advanced to third on a Ozney Guillen ground out, but was left stranded in scoring position after Mike Falsetti grounded out to end the inning.
The Birds went down in order in the bottom of the 9th against Sioux City closer Connor Overton, losing their fourth straight in the process. Monger finished the night going 1-for-3 with a double and a strikeout. Darwin Perez went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in the loss, but has now hit safely in seven of his last 10 games.
The series continues on Saturday night down in Sioux City, IA at Mercy Field and Lewis & Clark Park with RHP Stephen Bougher taking the mound for the Birds. Fans can listen to the game on AM-1230, FM-98.1 Sioux Falls Sports Radio KWSN.
The Canaries return to Sioux Falls Stadium after the American Association’s All-Star Break on August 3rd to battle the Sioux City Explorers. 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.