Canaries Win in St. Paul Take Series Against Saints
By Aaron Rosenberg
ST PAUL, MN - With a chance to win the series in St. Paul Wednesday night, the Canaries (8-18) came out strong early and used solo homeruns from Shelby Ford in the 1st and Chris Duffy in the 2nd to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Althouh they would not score again until the 6th, the Canaries scored five runs in the final four frames to win 7-6 over the Saints (17-10).
Despite not getting the start they were hoping for from Matt Wickswat, the Canaries were able to ride their bullpen with Erick Gonzalez, John Brebbia and Alan DeRatt combining to go 4.1 innings and allowing just one run. Brebbia (3-1) earned the win and DeRatt picked up his sixth save.
With the Canaries leading 2-0, Joe Bonfe and Evan Bigley hit back-to-back homeruns off Wickswat in the 4th to tie the game and Joey BBecker later doubled in a third run to put St. Paul in front 3-2. Angelo Songco and Brandon Tripp each drove in runs with two outs in the 5th and the Saints extended their lead to 5-2.
The Canaries would answer in the 6th with Shelby Ford leading off the inning with a triple. He would score on AJ Kirby-Jones's sacrifice fly and later in the inning Chris Valencia scored Carlos Mendez who doubled to bring the Canaries back within one run, 5-4. With two outs in the 8th, Mendez and Valencia each hit singles and Stephen Branca pushed across Mendez ith his own base hit to tie the game.
After St. Paul retook the lead 6-5 in the bottom of the 8th on Mendez's error at third base, the Canaries had one last chance in the 9th. Steve Tinoco drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on Brandon Jones's sacrifice bunt. Ford then singled and Tinoco ent to third and after Kirby-Jones worked the second walk of the inning, the bases were loaded with one out. Chris Duffy hit a groundball that cored Tinoco to tie the game and Carloz Mendez atoned for his error by hitting bringing in Ford or the go-ahead run on his infield single. Alan DeRatt locked down the 9th for the Canaries who held on for the 7-6 win.
After an off-day Thursday, the Canaries will return to action Friday night at the Birdcage to open a six-game homestand. The festivities start with postgame fireworks and a scary movie showing following the 7:05 PM game against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Saturday features live country music and Sunday is Fathers Day at the ballpark where fathers can play catch on the field and kids can run the bases after the game and meet the players for autographs. Tickets are available at the box office, by calling 605-336-6060 or via TicketMaster.