Sioux Falls Canaries End Scoreless Drought, But Fall to Saints 8-1
Blake Schmit hit a lead off homer to start the game, but that was it for the Canaries who fell to the St. Paul Saints 8-1 on Thursday night.
Canaries starter Joe Bircher (1-6, 3.50 ERA) has battled bad luck all season, suffering his sixth loss despite a great start. Bircher tossed seven good innings, giving up four runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out seven.
Schmit gave the Birds an early lead, sending the third pitch of the game over the wall in left, putting the Canaries up 1-0 in the first. St. Paul starter Eric Veglahn (2-2, 3.48 ERA) settled into a groove after that, striking out the next three batters. On the day, Veglahn tossed five solid innings, giving up that one run on five hits while striking out four.
The Saints responded in the bottom of the second. Alonzo Harris led off the inning with a sharp single, then stole both second and third. He trotted home on a RBI groundout by Tony Thomas to tie the game at one. Nate Hanson and Willie Argo hit back-to-back singles with one away. Sam Maus then roped a two-out triple to the gap in left, bringing home both Hanson and Argo to give the Saints the lead at 3-1.
The Saints added one more in the fourth. Argo hit a one-out double, then advanced to third on a Tony Caldwell single, putting runners at the corners. Maus drove in his third run of the game with a single to score Argo from third and push the lead to 4-1.
Both offenses went quiet for a while after that, as Bircher and two Saints relievers went stride for stride over the next three innings. Bircher settled into a groove and looked like the Joe Bircher the Canaries have gotten used to seeing this season.
The Saints tacked on one more in the eighth. With James Jones on the hill, the first two batters of the inning walked, then both advanced on a wild pitch. Caldwell singled to bring home Hanson from third, extending the lead to 5-1. Three more runs came around to score to blow the game open at 8-1.
Also on Thursday night up in Winnipeg, former Sioux Falls fan-favorite Reggie Abercrombie broke the American Association career home run record with a two home run night, surpassing John Allen’s record of 87. Abercrombie hit 54 of his 88 career homers over a four year stint in a Sioux Falls uniform.
The Birds are off to Wichita for a four-game weekend set against the South Division leading Wingnuts. They return home on Tuesday to host the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Tuesday night is NAVY NIGHT at Sioux Falls Stadium. The Navy Rock Band “HORIZON” will play a special pre-game show with other musical guests throughout the night. Contact the Canaries ticket office for information regarding single game or season ticket options by calling 605-336-6060 or visit the website at www.sfcanaries.com for more information.