Tinoco Walk-off in 11th Clinches 7-6 Canary Win at Home
Click Here For Audio Replay (Bottom 11th Inning): Canaries_081914.mp3
By Tony Cola
Sioux Falls, SD-- A five-run outburst by the Sioux Falls Canaries after going down 4-0 early nearly went to waste Tuesday night at the Birdcage, as the home team waited until very last at-bat to steal a 7-6 win against the Sioux City Explorers. Canaries right fielder Steve Tinoco wrapped up the win for the Birds (30-58) with a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 11th inning, giving Sioux Falls their first win in three games.
Explorer designated hitter Brock Kjeldgaard rocketed a two-run double to center field that provided Sioux City a quick 2-0 lead in the top first inning on Sioux Falls starting pitcher Joe Bircher. Kjeldgaard’s double was followed by a two-run homer from right fielder Peter Barrows that pushed the Explorers on top 4-0 after half an inning. Bircher finished the evening allowing five earned runs and five walks through 5.1 innings while striking six Sioux City batters.
The Canaries loaded up the bases to start the bottom of the third inning, putting a prime opportunity in front of Sioux Falls designated hitter Brandon Jones. Jones snapped the shutout with an RBI putout that plated Sam Lind, leaving men on second and third for Kirby-Jones. The first baseman waited three pitches before booming a pitch over the right field fence that evened things up at 4-4 through three full innings.
Canary center fielder Chris Valencia rewarded his team their first lead of the game two innings later when he crushed a double that scored Chris Duffy, a lead that would hold until the top of the next inning. The Explorers took their turn knotting things up in the top of the sixth with an RBI single via Dillon Usiak. Sioux Falls reliever John Brebbia walked in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth to make it 6-5 Explorers, placing all the pressure on the Birds in the bottom of the ninth.
A.J. Kirby-Jones came through yet again for the Canaries in the following inning, tying the game 6-6 with a lead-off solo home run on Sioux City reliever Chris Bodishbaugh. Matters stayed even at 6 for two more innings until Tinoco sent fans home happy with his solo dinger over the right field fence. The home run kept a 21-game hit streak alive for Tinoco, the longest hitting streak of the season for anyone on the Canaries.
The victors will return to the Birdcage tomorrow night at 7:05 pm for the final game of their two-game series against the Explorers. It will be Bark in the Park Night at the Birdcage, with $11 tickets covering fans and their furry friends. There will also be inning-by-inning promotions for concessions on Facebook and Twitter during the game.