Birds Hold Off Winnipeg In Series Finale
( Listen Live! )
PHOTO: Erin Bormett / Sioux Falls Canaries
WINNIPEG, MB -- A hot Winnipeg offense and a roadblock from Mother Nature weren't enough to stop the Sioux Falls Canaries on Thursday. The Birds (28-29) beat the Winnipeg Goldeyes (31-26) 8-6 to salvage the last game of the teams' three-game series.
The game was back-and-forth for the first four innings, including a one-hour, 20-minute rain delay in the middle of the fourth. The Canaries scored five unanswered runs in the next two innings to put the game out of reach.
The win moves the Birds to within a game and a half of a playoff spot.
Winnipeg opened the scoring in the first inning off Canaries starter Alex Boshers. Cleanup hitter Kyle Martin hit a bases-loaded two-run single with no one out, but Boshers escaped the rest of the inning unscathed.
The Birds responded in the top of the second, pushing across two unearned runs on a Brett Vertigan squeeze bunt and Alay Lago infield single to tie the score at 2.
Canaries left fielder Kevin Taylor delivered an RBI single in the top of the fourth to give the Birds a 3-2 lead.
Around then, it started to rain. The two teams took the field for the bottom of the fourth, but just before the inning began crew chief Heath Jones stopped play. The rainstorm was short, but it took quite an effort to restore the field to playing shape.
The gap was too long to put Boshers back in the game. He threw three innings, allowing two runs on two hits while walking three and striking out one. He did not allow a hit after Martin's single.
Will Solomon took over for the Birds in the fourth. He allowed back-to-back RBI singles in that inning; putting the Birds behind 4-3.
From there, the Birds took control. They score three runs in the top of the fifth on RBI hits from Clint Coulter, Mitch Glasser and Vertigan. Andrew Ely hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to make it 8-4 Sioux Falls.
Winnipeg battled back in the seventh inning, scoring two on a Dominic Ficociello single and bringing the tying run to the plate. But Birds reliever Trevor Jaunich got Reggie Abercrombie to fly out, ending the threat.
Canaries closer Sam Bragg threw a scoreless ninth to earn his fifth save of the year.
The Canaries have a doubleheader Friday with their 1-29 rivals, the Sioux City Explorers. The two teams will first finish a game suspended due to rain on June 23, with the Canaries ahead 2-1 in the top of the second with the bases loaded and two out. After that is the regularly-scheduled game, played to seven innings per American Association rules. The first game is set to resume at 4:05 p.m. Birds fans can hear both games on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 98.1 FM and AM 1230 KWSN.