Canaries Drop 5-4 Series Finale In Lincoln
BY: JJ Hartigan
LINCOLN, NE—The Sioux Falls Canaries (35-58) wrapped up their four-game series against the Lincoln SaltDogs (53-60) on Sunday evening at Haymarket Park. Designated hitter Jason Repko extended his hitting streak to nine-games, but the Birds’ fell to the SaltDogs by the final score of 5-4.
Starting pitcher Miguel Pena (6-7, 3.58 ERA) took the mound in the series finale looking for his first win since July 25th in the Canaries 10-6 road win against the Amarillo Thunderheads. Pena battled through 5 2/3 innings, but left the game in the bottom of the sixth after allowing four runs on nine hits. The left-hander walked three batters on Sunday, the most in a single start since walking four batters in his July 9th loss at home against the Lincoln SaltDogs. Pena also left the game without recording a strikeout for the first time in 18 starts this season.
The Canaries trailed the SaltDogs 4-0 after six innings before scoring four unanswered runs in the 7th and 8th innings to tie the game. Repko lead of the inning in the top of the 8th with the Birds’ down 4-2. The veteran outfielder singled to center, and later scored on a Brian Humphries RBI double. The Canaries tied the game a batter later on a RJ Perucki RBI groundout, tying the game at 4-4.
Lincoln took the lead back for good in the bottom of the inning, after scoring the go-ahead run on a bases loaded walk, making it 5-4. Relief pitcher Garret Granitz (0-1, 13.49) suffered his first loss in a Canaries uniform after walking two batters to start the inning.
Lincoln’s starting pitcher Kevin McGovern (5-8, 5.10) also picked up a no-decision, but left the game with a 4-2 lead after completing seven innings. Relief pitcher Connor Spink (5-6, 3.74 ERA) earned the win, after working a perfect 1 1/3 inning in relief.
With the 5-4 final, the Canaries and SaltDogs finished their 8-game season series with a split. Amazingly, five of the eight games in the season series were decided by a single run.
The Canaries have a scheduled off day on Monday, but return to action on Tuesday night in the opening game of a four-game road series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. First pitch at Shaw Park is scheduled for 7:05 PM, with LHP Joe Bircher (3-4, 3.46 ERA) making his 14th start of the season.
Fans can catch all the action home and away on AM-1230, FM-98.1, Sioux Falls Sports Radio KWSN. Pre-game coverage will begin at 6:20 PM as the “Voice of the Canaries” JJ Hartigan will bring all the latest news related to Canaries.