SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KWSN) - Despite building an 8-1 lead after three innings, the Sioux Falls Canaries (24-45) were unable to complete the sweep of their I-29 rivals, the Sioux City Explorers (28-41), falling 10-9 at the Birdcage Sunday afternoon. The Canaries still won the series two games to one and now will have two days off for the All-Star break before returning to action Wednesday night against the Winnipeg Goldeyes at the Birdcage.
The game couldn't have started any better for the Birds as Explorers pitcher Jesse English walked the bases loaded and Chris Duffy didn't waste any time clearing them. Duffy smoked a grand slam down the right field line and gave the Canaries a 4-0 lead before an out had been recorded. The homerun was Duffy's 10th of the season and gave him the team-RBI lead with 40.
Peter Barrows hit a solo shot for Sioux City in the top of the second to make it 4-1, but the Canaries answered right back. Steve Tinoco hit a solo homerun of his own, his fifth of the season and an RBI double from AJ Kirby-Jones made it 6-1. That sent English to the showers early after just 1.1 innings and six runs allowed. Geoff Broussard relieved and retired the final two hitters to end the inning, but ran into trouble in the 3rd, culminating with Tinoco doubling in two more runs and pushing the Canaries lead to 8-1.
The Explorers slowly chipped away at the deficit. Rene Tosono singled in a run in the 4th and the Explorers started the 5th with four straight singles off Canaries starter John Brebbia to make it 8-4. Brebbia would leave with nobody out and two runners on in the 5th, but Josh Giles was unable to strand either runner and allowed a run of his own in the 5th. Oscar Mesa, Tim Colwell, Peter Barrows and Amos Ramon each singled in a run in the inning, which ended with the lead trimmed to 8-7.
Kirby-Jones plated in an insurance run for the Birds in the 6th off Rob Wort who had just entered the game and gave the Canaries some breathing room at 9-7. Wort would settle in, however, and didn't allow a run of his own to score, earning the win (2-1) by working 1.2 innings and striking out three.
Kye Winter had one of his better outings for the Canaries, allowing just an unearned run to score in the 7th and kept the Birds in front 9-8. Chase Boruff entered in the 8th and suffered a blown save. After walking the first two hitters, Michael Lang ran out an infield single to load the bases and Oscar Mesa drove a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game at 9. A wild pitch followed and the Explorers took their first lead of the day 10-9. Boruff dropped to 0-2 with the loss.
Alex Burnett worked a perfect 8th for Sioux City and Chris Bodishbaugh earned his 10th save by retiring the Canaries in order in the 9th.
Kyle Vazquez will represent the Canaries in the All-Star Game Tuesday night at Shaw Park in Winnipeg at 7 PM. Full information about the All-Star Game can be found at www.americanassociationbaseball.com.