Canaries top Goldeyes In Extra-Inning Thriller
Photo courtesy Ry Tupper Photography
The Canaries' four-game losing streak came to an end in heart-stopping fashion on Saturday night.
Chris Jacobs' RBI single in the top of the 10th was the game-winner for the Birds, who topped the Winnipeg Goldeyes 6-5 from Shaw Park in Winnipeg.
The Canaries scored the bulk of their runs in a four-run third inning, starting with a game-tying bases-loaded walk by Jabari Henry.
Chris Grayson followed Henry with a bases-clearing double. Though Grayson was tagged out trying to take third, the Birds still let 4-1 after three.
Sioux Falls added to their lead in the following inning, when Tyler Wolfe hit a solo home run in the fourth. Wolfe's first extra-base hit of the season put the Canaries up 5-1.
From there, the Goldeyes chipped away at the Sioux Falls lead. Kevin Garcia had an RBI single in the fourth inning to make it 5-2. And a solo home run in the fifth by Grant Heyman, his second of the year, made it 5-3.
Winnipeg pulled within one in the seventh inning when Reynaldo Rodriguez doubled in Andrew Sohn. Rodriguez finished the game 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs batted in.
With Rodriguez the tying run on second, Reggie Abercrombie stepped in. After a borderline strike call from home plate umpire Marty Bauer made the count 0-2, Abercrombie argued the call and was ejected from the game. Matt McCann replaced an irate Abercrombie in the batter's box and struck out, ending the inning.
Winnipeg would tie the game in the following inning. Cruzado led off the eighth with a single, followed shortly by a Kevin Garcia walk. The runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch by Nicco Blank, and a walk to Jordan Ebert loaded the bases.
Canaries manager Mike Meyer pulled Blank following the walk, turning to Ryan Fritze. Fritze's first pitch hit Sohn in the back, forcing in the tying run.
The Goldeyes would leave the bases loaded after a flyout by Heyman ended the inning.
Winnipeg would threaten again in the ninth. Rodriguez picked up a leadoff walk and moved to second on a McCann sacrifice bunt. After Fritze struck out Cruzado for the second out of the inning, Meyer chose to intentionally walk David Bergin.
That brought up Kevin Garcia, who was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Josh Mazzola. Mazzola popped out to Canaries catcher Aaron Gretz, sending the game into extra innings.
Winnipeg left the bases loaded in the eighth and ninth innings, and left a total of 13 runners on base in the game.
Meanwhile, the Canaries bats were struggling. After Wolfe's fourth-inning homer, the Birds were hitless until the tenth, when Jabari Henry hit a two-out double.
Chris Grayson was intentionally walked, bringing up Jacobs, whose broken-bat bloop single to right made the score 6-5.
James Jones got the save in the tenth for the Canaries, though the inning wasn't easy. Sohn reached on a one-out infield single, and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
The next batter, Heyman, singled to right. When Chris Grayson's throw went off-line to home plate, Sohn tried to take home. He wound up tagged out in a rundown between third and home for the second out of the inning.
Rodriguez then hit a fly ball to right to end the game.
The Birds now stand at 3-5 on the year. They face a quick turnaround for their next game -- the rubber game between Sioux Falls and Winnipeg is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.