St. Paul Saints
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Photo Credit: Betsy Bissen
ST. PAUL, MN – Jabari Henry hit a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the 9th inning to help push the Sioux Falls Canaries to a series sweep over the St. Paul Saints on Thursday night at CHS Field.
The Birds took an early lead with a first inning run off of Saints (30-22) starting pitcher Mark Hamburger. The right-hander gave up base hits to each of the first three batters, with Ty Morrison driving in Brett Mar with an RBI single into right field.
The Saints responded right away in the bottom of the inning, with Tom Colwell scoring on a Brady Schoemaker RBI triple off of Canaries starting pitcher Bryce Morrow to tie the game at 1-1.
Schoemaker gave the Saints their first lead of the night in the bottom of the 4th inning with a lead-off home run (12). The Saints took a 3-1 lead later in the inning when Kes Carter drove in Anthony Gallas on a RBI groundout.
The Canaries started the comeback in top of the 5th inning when Dan Motl roped a two-out double down the left-field line, driving in Blake Schmit to make it a 3-2 ball game.
Henry led off the top of the 6th inning with a single off of Hamburger, later scoring on a Chris Jacobs RBI double to tie the game at 3-3.
The Birds took their second lead of the night in the top of the 7th inning when Aaron Gretz scored on a Henry RBI sac-fly to deep centerfield. Saints outfielder Kes Carter made a terrific leaping grab as he crashed into the wall, robbing Henry of a potential extra-base hit.
The Canaries lead was once again short-lived, with the Saints tying the game up at 4-4 in the bottom of the 7th inning after Anthony Gallas reached base on a two-out single, and later scored on a Trey Vavra throwing error.
Both teams put men in scoring position in the 8th inning, but neither team was able to bring home a run. It looked like the Birds were going to go scoreless in the 9th as well, but Brett Marr reached base on a two-out walk, setting up Henry’s heroic two-run homer (12) to give Sioux Falls their third, and final lead of the night.
Nicco Blank (1-1) picked up his first win of the season after holding the Saints to one unearned run over two innings of work. The right-hander picked up three strikeouts while hold St. Paul to two hits in the win. Jose Ortega wrapped up the game with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Anthony Gallas for the final out in the bottom of the 9th inning to earn his 9th save of the season.
Both starters picked up no-decisions on Thursday night. Canaries starter Bryce Morrow allowed 3 runs on 6 hits over 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander walked three batters while striking out three in his 11th start of the season. Saints starter Mark Hamburger allowed 4 runs on 10 hits while striking out 6 batters over 6 2/3 innings.
Henry paced the Canaries offensive attack, finishing the night going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Schoemaker was the biggest offensive threat for the Saints, finishing the night a double shy of the cycle.
The Canaries win on Thursday night wrapped up the series sweep of the St. Paul Saints, who suffered their first four-game sweep ever at CHS Field. It was also the Canaries first four-game sweep over the Saints since doing so at the Birdcage during the 2008 American Association season.
The Canaries continue their week-long road-trip in Wichita, KS on Friday night against the Wichita Wingnuts at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. RHP Grady Wood (5-1, 2.59 ERA) will take the hill for the Birds facing Wingnuts’ RHP Tyler Kane (6-1, 4.02 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM. Fans can tune into all the Canaries action on Sioux Falls Sports Radio,1230-AM, 98.1-FM KWSN.
The Birds will return to The Birdcage for a three-game set against the Fargo-Moorhead Hawks starting July 18 at 7:05 PM. For information on single-game tickets, contact the Canaries Ticket Office at (605) 336-6060 or visit sfcanaries.com for more information.