Road Weary Birds' Battle Sioux City In 2-1 Loss On Saturday Night
By: J.J. Hartigan
SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Sioux Falls Canaries (29-43) returned to the Birdcage on Saturday night to battle the red-hot Sioux City Explorers (53-18) in the opening game of their best-of-three series. The Birds’ held the X’s to just two runs on six hits, but fell by the final score of 2-1.
Starting pitcher Stephen Bougher (3-4, 4.38 ERA) returned to the mound after putting together one of his best starts of the season earlier in the week, holding the Laredo Lemurs scoreless over six inning. The right-hander continued his dominance, holding the second best offense in the American Association to just two runs, one earned on six hits over six innings.
The Sioux Falls bullpen gave the Birds’ a chance to win it late, after holding Sioux City hitless over the last three innings, with Bircher, Jones, and Johnson each tossing a shutout inning in relief.
The lone run for the Canaries came in the sixth inning after Chris Grayson got on base with a lead-off walk, and later scored on a Brian Humphries RBI sacrifice fly to right-field. Humphries had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, after reaching base to start the inning on an error, but was left on second base to end the ball game.
Sioux City starting pitcher Ryan Strufing picked up his first win of the season after allowing one run on three hits over 5 2/3 innings.
The Explorers had a record setting night on a couple of different levels on Saturday night. The 2-1 win was their 11th straight, the longest winning streak in franchise history, and their 53rd win of the season, the most in franchise history.
The series continues on Sunday afternoon with RHP Jeremy Strawn (2-10, 4.84 ERA) toeing the rubber for the Sioux Falls Canaries against Explorer’s RHP John Straka (8-1, 2.87 ERA).
Fans can catch all the action home and away on AM-1230, FM-98.1, Sioux Falls Sports Radio KWSN. Pre-game coverage will begin at 3:45 PM as the “Voice of the Canaries” JJ Hartigan will bring all the latest news related to Canaries baseball.
Tickets for the final half of the season are still available and can be purchased through the Canaries Box Office at (605) 336-6060 or visit www.sfcanaries.com. No matter your schedule, the Canaries have a ticket package for you. Ask a Canaries representative about partial plan or E-Z Game Tickets.