Birds Win Rain-Shortened Opener Over SaltDogs

Posted: 6/2/2018

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The game ended early, but there was plenty of offense to go around.

The Sioux Falls Canaries defeated the Lincoln SaltDogs 10-7 on Friday night at Sioux Falls Stadium, in a game that was called in the bottom of the seventh due to rain.

The two teams combined for 17 hits and three four-run innings in the slugfest despite the premature ending.

Sioux Falls notched the first big inning of the game in the bottom of the second, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 lead.

Mike Hart, Blake Schmit and Chris Grayson all had RBI hits in the frame off of Lincoln starter Mikey O'Brien.

Lincoln responded with four runs of their own in the top of the third.

Curt Smith and Branden Jacobs both doubled in runs off of Canaries starter Jim Patterson.

Patterson was pulled with no one out in the inning after three runs had scored and the SaltDogs had loaded the bases. Reliever Trevor Jaunich allowed an inherited runner to score on a double play before working out of the jam.

Patterson allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits in two innings of work. He walked four and struck out three in the no-decision.

Trailing 6-4 after four and a half, Sioux Falls took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning. Chris Grayson hit a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to one before Chris Jacobs hit a three-run home run to right field.

The blast was Jacobs' first homer of the season after hitting 21 in 2017.

The SaltDogs brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the sixth after an Angel Reyes RBI single made the score 9-7 with runners on first and second and one out.

Canaries reliever Kyle Schepel entered the game, and retired Smith and Jacobs to end the inning.

Smith finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs batted in.

Chris Grayson scored the game's final run in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run to right, his fourth homer of the year.

The game was halted in the bottom of the seventh, with Canaries catcher Aaron Gretz at bat and pinch-hitter Patrick Fiala on first base.

A thunderstorm moved into the area, with reported 60-mph wins throwing dust and garbage into the air. The game stopped briefly, and at one point Lincoln reliever Kyle Kinman threw a couple of warmup pitches.

But after a couple more lightning strikes and thunderclaps, home plate umpire and crew chief Marty Bauer cleared the field.

Kyle Schepel was credited with the save for the Canaries, throwing the final 1.2 innings without allowing a baserunner. He struck out two.

The Canaries and SaltDogs meet up again on Saturday night for Military Appreciation Night at the Birdcage. Members of the South Dakota National Guard will be bringing the flag to the field, coaching first base, participating in our on-field promotions, and performing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch. Birds fans can get tickets at the Sioux Falls Stadium box office or by calling 336-6060.