Grayson, Bergin Lead Canaries To Series Win Over Chicago
Photo courtesy Ry Tupper Photography
By Tyler Smith
SIOUX FALLS, S.D – A big fly and high-scoring fifth inning powered the Birds to a 7-5 victory over the Chicago Dogs on Thursday night.
Chris Grayson hit the first Sioux Falls home run since June 9 in the second inning, giving the Canaries the lead. Chicago (6-19) responded in their half of the third, but five runs by the Sioux Falls lineup put the Canaries (10-15) up for good.
Chicago got on the board first, scoring on a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded. With the score 1-0, Canaries starter Joe Bircher induced an inning-ending groundout to escape the jam.
After four games without a homer, and only one in the Canaries’ last nine, Chris Grayson hit a two-run shot out to leftfield to give Sioux Falls a 2-1 advantage.
The lead would not last long, as in the top of the third, Chicago would put Bircher in trouble again. Already three on the board, Chicago had the bases loaded with no one out. The Canaries’ starter rebounded to get the ensuing Dogs hitter to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, surrendering a run and Dalton Blaser popped up to the catcher to end the inning, Chicago ahead 5-2.
Bircher pitched five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. The Canaries responded in their half of the fifth, putting five runs on the board. A couple errors assisted the Sioux Falls offense, as only one run of the five was earned. Newly acquired David Bergin smashed his first extra-base hit of the year into the gap in left-center, earning an RBI in the process. The inning put the Birds up 7-5, and put Bircher in line for the win.
The trio of Nicco Blank, Ryan Fritze and James Jones would finish the game with four combined innings of work, allowing only one hit and striking out a pair. Jones appeared in his seventh save situation, earning his sixth save of the season.
ODDS AND ENDS
Blake Schmit remained red-hot at the plate with his fourth multi-hit game in a row … Chris Grayson’s six homers this season leads Sioux Falls hitters and is tied for fifth in the American Association … Sioux Falls had four players with multiple hits in Thursday’s matchup … Sioux Falls has won back-to-back games for the first time in 2018 … Thursday’s game marked the third game where four or more Canaries had a multi-hit games this season.
Sioux Falls and Winnipeg open a weekend series at the Birdcage tomorrow night at 7:05. Following Friday’s game will be a fireworks show. Birds fans can get their tickets at the Sioux Falls Stadium box office or by calling 336-6060.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
W – Bircher (3-3)
L – Turnbull (1-4)
SV – Jones (6)
2nd – Chicago: Edwin Arroyo hit by pitch (Josh Goossen-Brown scores) 1-0 Chicago. Sioux Falls: Chris Grayson two-run homerun (David Bergin scores) 2-1 Sioux Falls.
3rd – Chicago: Jonathan Moroney singes (Trey Vavra scores) 2-2 tied; Michael Baca singles (Matt Dean scores) 3-2 Chicago; Michael Falsetti walks (Jonathan Moroney scores) 4-2 Chicago; Zach Racusin grounds into double play (Josh Goossen-Brown scores) 5-2 Chicago.
5th – Sioux Falls: Burt Reynolds reaches on a two-base error (Jordan Smith scores) 5-3 Chicago; Blake Schmit singles (Burt Reynolds scores) 5-4 Chicago; David Bergin doubles (Jabari Henry scores) 5-5 tied; Chris Grayson singles (David Bergin scores) 6-5 Sioux Falls; Patrick Fiala singles (Chris Grayson scores) 7-5 Sioux Falls.