GARY, IN -- On the strength of a seven-run third inning and three home runs, the Sioux Falls Canaries cruised to a 12-5 over the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Friday night at the U.S. Steel Yard.

The victory opened a three-game series and was the seventh for the Canaries (36-49) in eight games against the RailCats (47-36).

Trailing 1-0, the Canaries loaded the bases in the third inning against Gary SouthShore starter Alain Quijano (10-7). Cory Morales lined a pitch off of the arm of Quijano that scored a run and forced Quijano to leave the game. Reliever Taylor Sewitt entered and Marcos Rodriguez singled in two runs for a 3-1 lead. After Reggie Abercrombie was hit with a pitch to reload the bases, Tim Pahuta cleared them all with a grand slam, his second of the season. Pahuta leads the league with 25 home runs, and he became just the third Canaries player ever to hit 25 or more home runs in one season.

The Canaries (36-49) added three more runs in the fourth inning, which was more than enough for starter Kyle Ruwe (10-6) to earn his 10th victory of the year. He became the first pitcher with double-digit wins this season and the first for a Sioux Falls pitcher since Ben Moore did so in 2011. Ruwe turned in a quality start, giving up just one run on eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out one.

In the seventh inning, Jared Clark led off with a mammoth home run to left field, his 19th of the year, to make it 11-1. It was his third straight game with a home run and fourth in the last three games. Cory Morales’ sacrifice fly in the eighth inning added the Birds final tally.

Every Canaries hitter had at least one hit and one run scored.  Morales, Rodriguez, Stephen King and Nick Van Stratten each had a pair of hits. King hit his third home run of the year with a solo shot in the fourth inning, and Van Stratten extended a hitting streak to nine games.

Quijano suffered a loss for the third time in as many starts against the Canaries.

The Canaries seek to clinch the three-game series in game two at 6:10 p.m on Saturday.

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Canaries