Canaries Topple Goldeyes on Way to Moore's 54th Win
By Tony Cola
Sioux Falls, SD-- The Sioux Falls Canaries responded from a disappointing loss Sunday with an offensive explosion at the Birdcage Wednesday night, allowing starting pitcher Ben Moore to pick up his franchise-leading 54th win on the way to a 12-4 blowout over the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Moore (5-4) threw six solid innings of ball in his historic start for the Canaries (25-45), allowing four earned runs on six hits while whiffing three. Three different players drove in two men apiece to help provide Moore and the rest of the Canaries the run support they’d need in order to earn their third win in fourth games.
“It’s crazy easy when your team puts up 12 runs,” said Moore, who has pitched for the Birds since 2008. “I can just attack, attack, attack.”
Winnipeg lept out to a quick 1-0 lead on Moore in the first inning thanks a single from Tyler Kuhn. However, Sioux Falls did not stay behind for long, retorting with three straight runs through the next three innings. Carlos Mendez kicked off the rally by tying the contest in the bottom of the first with a single that scored A.J. Kirby-Jones. The Canaries took the lead for good the very next inning on a single by Steve Tinoco that made it 2-1, with a solo home run from Kirby-Jones giving the Birds a 3-1 lead.
Former Canary Reggie Abercrombie sliced that lead to 3-2 with a solo dinger in the top of the fourth, though the Sioux Falls offense answered yet again with a lone run in the bottom half and a pair in the fifth to bring it to 6-2. The Canaries withstood one final comeback attempt in the top of the sixth inning before coming back with six consecutive runs to seal the victory. Five of those runs came in a monster seventh inning that featured a timely two-run double by Canary shortstop Stephen Branca.
The Canaries closed out the night in memorable fashion, with pitching coach Mike Meyer coming into the game in the final inning and setting down the Goldeyes 1-2-3 in relief. Meyer has spent the last eight years as the pitching coach for Sioux Falls and had not pitched in an American Association game since 2006.
“He’ll tell you he’s better than me,” said Moore, jokingly. “It’s cool because from now on I’ll remember today because of the win and the fact that Mike, my pitching coach for the last six years, closed it out.”
The Canaries will head back to the Birdcage tomorrow night at 7:05 pm for the second game of their four-game series against the Goldeyes. There will be tailgating at 5:30 pm along with $1 beers (12 oz.) leading up to first pitch and $2.50 beers during the game. Boyer Trucks will be the game night sponsor, and fans can take a look at some of their most popular trucks at the Birdcage.