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Short-handed Birds finish home stand with win

by
Sioux Falls Canaries
Sioux Falls Canaries

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KWSN)  –  Most days, it’s hard enough to win a baseball game.  On Sunday afternoon, the Sioux Falls Canaries had extra challenges.

Playing short-handed due to injury and two ejections, the Canaries had to use a catcher as a center fielder, a designated hitter as an infielder and a pitcher as a hitter. They Canaries still managed to pull out a 6-3 victory over the Kansas City T-Bones and salvage the finale of a three-game series.

Nick Van Stratten, the Birds everyday centerfielder, was held out of the lineup with a leg injury. Reggie Abercrombie, who has been playing right field since his return, started in center but was ejected in the fourth for arguing a play at the plate. Jared Clark was tossed in the fifth for arguing balls and strikes.

The situation forced the Canaries (31-43) to put right fielder Kevin Dultz, normally a catcher, into a center and designated hitter Tim Pahuta in the field. That meant a pitcher had to hit, and reliever Jordan Whatcott rose to the occasion. After tossing a scoreless top of the eighth inning with a 4-3 lead, he collected a two-out single for his first professional hit in the bottom half. He came home to score two batters later on Dultz’ two-run triple.

The insurance runs secured a win for starter Ben Moore (8-5), who overcame an uncharacteristic four-walk outing. He turned in a quality start, limiting Kansas City to three runs on six hits in seven innings. He fanned three, increasing his league-best total to 99 strikeouts.

Kansas City (31-44) grabbed a 3-2 lead in the third inning on a three-run rally that was capped by a contested sacrifice fly, but the Birds scored the final four unanswered runs. Jake Taylor evened the game with a solo home run in the fifth inning, and Pahuta led off the sixth with his league-leading 22nd long ball of the year, matching the third most ever in one season by a Canaries hitter.

In the ninth, Alan DeRatt gave up a two-out double but nothing more to record his 16th save of the year.

Rick Zagone (0-1) suffered the loss for Kansas City, giving up four runs and 10 hits in six innings.

The Canaries begin their longest road trip of the year, a 13-game swing through four cities, beginning with the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6. The game will be broadcast on Sioux Falls Sports Radio KWSN 1230-AM, 98.1-FM and www.kwsn.com.

Courtesy: Sioux Falls Canaries

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