Bullpen Falters Late as Canaries Fall 8-5
By Aaron Rosenberg
SIOUX FALLS, SD - An explosive Canaries' (28-55) offense picked up where it left off last night, plating four runs in the 1st inning, but didn't do much after that, only scoring one run the rest of the way. Combined with another shaky performance from the bullpen, the Canaries were unable to win a second straight game over the visiting New Jersey Jackals (43-35), falling 8-5 Wednesday afternoon in front of 2,714 fans on Discovery Learning Center Day Care Day.
AJ Kirby-Jones got the Canaries on the board first with an RBI single in the 1st inning and Chris Duffy followed with a three-run smokeshot off the scoreboard in centerfield to give the Birds a quick 4-0 lead. That lead was cut in half in the 2nd inning as Joe Bircher was tagged for two runs on four hits and also allowed a run by hitting Felix Sanchez with the bases loaded. Bircher consistently worked out of jams, including the 5th inning when he walked the bases loaded but ended the inning with a strikeout to keep New Jersey off the scoreboard. Bircher left with a 4-3 after six innings, but did not factor in the decision.
New Jersey took their first lead of the day in the 7th inning when Josh Giles, who relieved Bircher to start the inning, issued a two-out walk to Tony Caldwell and then surrendered a two-run homerun down the right-field line to Jon Talley. The Canaries were able to tie it in the bottom half on an RBI double from AJ-Kirby Jones, but would not score again and New Jersey took the lead for good in the 8th when Jorge Cortes hit the second Jackals' homerun of the day off Kye Winter.
Steve Tinoco extended his hitting streak to 16 games for the Canaries and Chris Valencia pushed his to 11. Ace Ben Moore will take the mound Thursday night in the series finale at the Birdcage at 7:05 PM.