The Canaries completed a series sweep against their North division rivals, the St. Paul Saints, on Sunday. Early hitting handed pitcher Kyle Vazquez a lead and the bullpen tossed four scoreless frames to finish the job and give the Canaries a 4-3 win.
The Saints got on the board first when former Canary Jake Taylor singled in the 1st and came around to score on Henry Wrigley's double. That was Wrigley's 40th RBI of the season and it was clear the Saints missed him last night when he was out of the lineup.
The Canaries answered right back in the bottom half of the 1st. Steve Tinoco led off with a single and advanced to third on AJ Kirby-Jones's double. Chris Duffy followed with a groundball to score Tinoco and tie the game. Carlos Mendez hit into an RBI fielder's choice to third, but Taylor's throw to second base sailed into right field, allowing a second run to score and the Canaries took a 3-1 lead.
Kevin Dultz led off the 2nd by legging out an infield single and scored on Kirby-Jone's RBI single. The Canaries held a 4-1 lead after two inings and as it turned out, Saints starter Nick Barnese would settle in after that and not allow another run. Barnese finished with 5 innings pitched and four runs allowed, though only two were earned, and surrendered six hits and four walks while striking out four. He would take the loss and drop to 3-4.
Vazquez never gave up the lead, but did run into some trouble, allowing a two-RBI double to Sam Maus in the 4th, bringing the Saints to within 4-3. After putting up a zero in the 5th, Vazquez's day was done having allowed three runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out two and improved to 3-3 with the win.
The bullpen ended up being the heroes on Sunday. Joe Testa threw scoreless frames in the 6th and 7th and has not given up an earned run in nine innings since joining the Canaries. Testa benefitted from two inning-ending double plays, including one in the 6th in which he snagged a line drive comebacker and threw to third to retire the potential game-tying runner. John Brebbia left the bases loaded with one out in the 8th to hold the 4-3 lead and Alan DeRatt slammed the door in the 9th to earn his ninth save.
The Canaries improved to 17-25 while the Saints dropped to 22-19. The homestand continues for the Canaries Monday night when they open a four-game set against the Gary Southshore RailCats. First pitch is at 7:05 PM and walkup tickets are just $5. Fans can also meet animals from the Great Plains Zoo. Tickets are available at the box office, by calling 605-336-6060 and via TicketMaster.
Courtesy: Aaron Rosenberg, Canaries