T-Bones Even Series at the Birdcage
An early 2-0 lead couldn’t give the Sioux Falls Canaries the momentum they needed to take the second game of a four-game series as they fell 7-3 to the Kansas City T-Bones at the Birdcage Friday night. Kansas City responded to a two-run Canary first inning by jumping on starting pitcher Joe Bircher (0-2) for four straight runs, allowing the team from Kansas City to tie the series up at one win a piece.
“I was encouraged after the first,” said manager Steve Shirley, “but we didn’t do anything beyond to win the game. Eventually you have to do something to win the game and we didn’t do anything.”
Canary outfielder Chris Valencia wasted no time opening the night’s scoring as he drove in two in the bottom of the first with a two-run single, the Torrance, Calif. native’s fourth and fifth RBIs of the season. However, the T-Bones would start their cascade of runs the very next half-inning, beginning with a one-run double from Byron Wiley that chopped the lead to 2-1. A two-out, two-run single by Kansas City catcher Brian Erie in the top of the fourth gave the T-Bones a 3-2 lead and the only lead they would need all evening.
The T-Bones doubled their lead to two runs one inning later thanks to a single by infielder Danny Richard. It was the fourth run allowed on the night for Bircher, who finished the night with two strikeouts and three walks through six full innings.
“This is a tough place to pitch in,” said Shirley.
A two-run eighth inning for the T-Bones boosted the score to 6-2, though the Canaries would respond with a run in their half courtesy of A.J. Kirby-Jones third RBI in two nights off a single. Nevertheless, the T-Bones would chip in one more in the ninth and coast to the 7-3 victory.
“We’re playing entertaining baseball and I would say it’s good baseball for the most part,” said Shirley, “but we didn’t do anything to win the game.”
The Canaries will return to the Birdcage tomorrow for their third game of the series against the T-Bones at 6:05 PM. Endangered Orange will perform and the first 500 fans through the gates will receive a Canaries home plate mat.