Sioux Falls, SD-- The bats of the Sioux Falls Canaries responded to two consecutive losses in a huge way Thursday night at the Birdcage as the offense exploded for five runs in the second inning en route to an 11-7 win over the Gary SouthShore RailCats. Brandon Jones, Carlos Mendez and Matt Hitt had two RBIs each for the Canaries (19-27), who finished a successful seven-game homestand with a 5-2 record.
“You don’t dwell too much on the past,” said manager Steve Shirley. “You don’t have time to dwell on that. We try to win tonight’s game.”
Gary ShoreShore took no time jumping on Canaries starter Kyle Ruwe (4-4), striking first with three quick runs in the opening inning.
“He (Ruwe) has been pitching really well his last three or four starts,” said Shirley. “Every game’s a new animal and this team can hit.”
Matters at the ballpark appeared to be following the trend of the last two nights until the Canaries’ offensive outburst arrived in the second inning. Center fielder Chris Valencia kicked off the onslaught with a double to the left field gap, cutting a run into the RailCats 3-0 lead. An RBI putout from Sam Lind followed by a run-scoring Steve Tinoco single tied the game 3-3 before Brandon Jones jumped the Canaries out in front 5-3 with a two-run homer to right field. It’d be the first lead change of the game and the last lead change of the game, as Sioux Falls had complete control the rest of the way.
The closest the Canaries would get to breaking a sweat came in the top of the fifth when the RailCats got within 6-4, but a three-run response from Sioux Falls the very next half-inning sealed the night’s fate in stone. Two more Canary runs in an inning later rewarded Sioux Falls a generous 11-4 cushion, though three more scores from RailCats in the seventh and eighth innings wiped out the touchdown lead.
Ruwe chewed up seven innings for the Canaries while allowing six earned runs on eight hits, with Joe Testa and Joe Brebbia pitching an inning apiece to close out the Canaries’ 12th win of the year at the Birdcage.
The Canaries will now leave the Birdcage to head on a six-game road trip, beginning with a three-game series against the Kansas City T-Bones that starts tomorrow night. Sioux Falls will return to the Birdcage on July 11 when they open a three-game series against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at 7:05 p.m.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Canaries Tony Cola