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Phot Courtesy - Dan LeMoal
WINNIPEG, MB – The Sioux Falls Canaries mounted a late comeback effort on Tuesday night, but Kevin McGovern and the Winnipeg Goldeyes out-lasted the Birds with the final score of 8-4 at Shaw Park.
McGovern (2-0, 3.32 ERA) was masterful in his first home start of the season, holding the Canaries scoreless over the first eight innings of work. The left-hander allowed the first three Sioux Falls batters to reach base in the top of the first inning, but settled in after that, retiring 18 consecutive batters.
The Birds didn’t have another man reach base until Ty Morrison roped a one-out single into right. Patrick Fiala reached base after he was hit by a pitch to put two men on with only one out before Aaron Gretz grounded into the inning ending double play.
McGovern worked a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 8th, and entered the 9th inning with a chance to pick up his second consecutive complete game shutout. Blake Schmit led off the inning with a single, followed by base hits from BJ Guinn before Chris Jacobs brought home the first run of the night with an RBI single into centerfield. Morrison knocked McGovern out of the game a few pitches later when he ripped an RBI double down the right-field line.
Patrick Fiala continued the Canaries comeback effort with an RBI single of his own against Goldeyes relief pitcher Ryan Chaffee to make it an 8-4 ballgame, but the threat would end there. Chaffee forced Gretz into a 1-6-3 double play and got Mike Falsetti to fly out to end the ball game.
McGovern threw 108 pitches, 71 for strikes in the 8 inning performance, and had tossed 17 straight scoreless innings before the Birds comeback effort in the top of the 9th inning.
Canaries starting pitcher Joe Bircher (1-2, 4.34 ERA) suffered the loss after allowing 5 runs on 9 hits over 5 2/3 innings of work. Overall, the left-hander looked good in his third start of the season, but gave up two home runs while striking out five batters in the loss.
Former Canaries power-hitter David Bergin finished the night a triple shy of the cycle, and hit his second homer of the series off of Bircher in the bottom of the first inning.
Morrison paced the Sioux Falls offense, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the loss. Jacobs extended his hitting streak to 10 games on Tuesday night and is now hitting .455 overall this season.
The same two teams will be back at it again on Wednesday with an 11:00 AM start time in game-three of the series. RHP Bryce Morrow (0-0, 4.65 ERA) will take the mound for the Birds in search of his first win of the season. Fans can listen to all of the action starting at 6:45 p.m. on Sioux Falls Sports Radio, AM-1230, FM-98.1 KWSN.
The Canaries return home on Friday, June 2nd when they open up a three-game series against the Kansas City T-Bones. Be sure to stick around after the game for the first Friday Night All-Star Fireworks Spectacular, presented by the Orthopedic Institute and Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital.
For more information about season tickets and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries ticket office at (605) 336-6060 or visit www.sfcanaries.com.