Deficit Too Great to Overcome, Birds Fall to Saints 18-10
Photo Courtesy: Ryan Alexander Photography
The Canaries started off strong, but the middle innings proved to be the downfall on Friday night against the St. Paul Saints, as the Birds fell 18-10.
Starter Misael Siverio struggled again to start the game, giving up four runs early including a two-run bomb to left in the top of the first inning.
The Birds reclaimed the momentum in the bottom of the first, as Ozney Guillen sent a solo shot over the wall to cut the lead to 4-1. Siverio used that momentum to retire the Saints 1-2-3 in the top of the second.
The Birds punched Saints starter Cody Scarpetta square in the mouth in the bottom of the second. Jake Taylor started the inning with a walk, followed by a Blake Schmit double to put runners at second and third. Michael Pair hit a weak ground ball to second, but an error on second baseman Sam Maus allowed Taylor and Schmit to score, cutting the lead to 4-3. Aaron Owen followed that up with a single, putting runners at the corners. Pair then scored on a passed ball, as Owen moved up to second to tie the ball game. Ozney Guillen struck again, recording an RBI single, scoring Owen, as the Birds claimed their first lead of the game at 5-4.
Unfortunately, the wheels fell off the bus after the second. The Canaries offense went silent, held hitless from the third inning all the way through the eighth inning. Meanwhile, the Saints offense exploded for 14 runs between the fourth and the eighth innings, including a 6-spot in the seventh.
The Birds would go down fighting, however. Trailing 18-5 in the top of the ninth, the Birds turned to an unlikely source to spark a comeback. Glenn Walker, a middle infield the Birds picked up this week, flexed his pitching muscles, holding the Saints to a scoreless inning for the first time since the third inning. Walker, who’s pitch speed ranged between 70-85 MPH, walked two but earned a strikeout to stop the bleeding for the Birds.
The bottom of the ninth had some fireworks before the Friday Night Fireworks show. In total, the Canaries would send ten men to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. Ethan Chapman led off painfully, wearing a 3-0 pitch off the shoulder to advance to first. Guillen then singled, putting runners at first and second. After a Taylor Zeutenhorst strikeout, Chris Grayson put a towering fly ball over the right field fence to cut the lead to 18-8. Two straight singles and a walk reloaded the bases, still with one away. Aaron Owen scorched a grounder to second and hustled down the line to avoid the double play. This also allowed Taylor to score from third on the play. With runners at the corners, Frank Martinez blooped a 0-1 pitch into the grass in left, scoring Schmit, to cut the lead to 18-10. But the deficit was simply too much to overcome, as Chapman flew out to left to end the game.
In total, the Canaries pitchers threw 223 pitches on the night, and the two teams combined to throw 410 pitches in the four hour, six-minute contest.
One positive to take away from the night, though, was the Frank Martinez RBI single in the ninth. With that single, Martinez pushed his hitting streak to six games. He is now 7-for-23 over that streak, and 12-for-48 (.250 BA) in the last 12 ballgames.
The Birds look to rebound on Saturday night, playing in game three of the four game series against the Saints with first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m. Get to The Birdcage early for Cagey’s Tailgate Party starting at 4:00 p.m. World Series champion and father of Ozney Guillen, Ozzie Guillen, will be on hand from 5:00-6:00 to sign autographs before first pitch in the lower concourse. Contact the Canaries ticket office for information regarding single game or season ticket options by calling 605-336-6060 or visit the website at www.sfcanaries.com for more information.