Canaries Give Up Six Unanswered, Fall to Saints, 10-5

Posted: 8/11/2017


Photo Credit: Betsy Bissen

St. Paul, MN – The Sioux Falls Canaries gave up six unanswered runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings to fall to the St. Paul Saints, 10-5, at CHS Field Friday night.

Burt Reynolds hit his 11th home run Thursday night against St. Paul and it didn’t take him long to hit his 12th and give the Canaries an early lead. After Ty Morrison reached on a one-out infield single, Reynolds brought him home with a two-run shot to give the Birds’ a 2-0 lead.

However, the Birds’ lead didn’t last long as Joe Bircher gave up a two-run blast to Nate Hanson in the bottom of the first to tie the game at two. Hanson’s homer was the 12th Bircher’s given up this season. 

Just an inning later, Tanner Lubach hit the 13th home run of the season off Bircher to give the Saints a 3-2 lead heading into the third.

Bircher and Benji Waite pitched scoreless third innings before St. Paul extended their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Kes Carter led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple and scored on Mitch Delfino’s sacrifice fly to extend the Saints’ lead to 4-2.

A half-inning later, the Canaries struck back for two runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game at four.

Aaron Gretz led off the inning with a single and stole second before Blake Schmit’s walk and a wild pitch put runners on second and third. Morrison groundout scored Gretz from third before Schmit came home on a passed ball to tie the game at four.

Bircher worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth, but ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth, allowing the first three batters of the inning to reach before being relieved for Dylan Thompson.

Three more reached against Thompson and the Saints totaled four runs on four hits and two walks in the frame to take an 8-4 lead.

Bircher allowed seven runs on ten hits, both season-highs for the Birds starter, striking out and walking two over five innings of work.

Nicco Blank relieved Thompson to start the bottom of the seventh, but the Saints extended their lead yet again, this time on Lubach’s two-run homer, his second of the game, to take a 10-4 lead.

Brandon Peterson and Vinny Nittoli combined to shut down the Birds out of the Saints’ bullpen over the sixth, seventh and eighth innings before Chandler Hawkins came in for the ninth. 

Trey Vavra reached third on an error to start the ninth and came around to score on Schmit’s sacrifice fly to cut the Saints’ lead to 10-5, but Hawkins struck out Dan Motl to end the threat and give the Saints a 10-5 victory.

Bircher takes the loss for the Canaries, who fall to 35-42 on the season, while Peterson picks up the win for the Saints, who move to 42-35 with the win.

The Canaries continue their four-game series against the St. Paul Saints on Saturday night at CHS Field with LHP Bo Hellquist (1-1, 3.26 ERA) taking the mound for Sioux Falls in game three of the series against St. Paul’s RHP Jason Hoppe (0-0, 4.90 ERA).

The Birds' are back in Sioux Falls at The Birdcage starting next weekend, Aug. 18 with three-game series against the Salina Stockade, followed by four games against Fargo-Moorhead. 

For information on single-game tickets, contact the Canaries Ticket Office at (605) 336-6060 or visit for more information.