Sioux Falls, SD-- The Sioux Falls Canaries were no match for the brutal Laredo Lemur bats Tuesday night, as the road team slugged six homers at the Birdcage en route to a 13-5 series-opening victory. Laredo second baseman Travis Denker went 3 for 5 at the dish with two homers and six RBIs for Lemurs, who were simply too much to handle for Canary starting pitcher Kyle Ruwe (4-5). The loss is the Canaries (21-36) third in a row during their seven-game homestand and is the second contest in a row that has seen Sioux Falls surrender at least 10 runs to opposing batters.
Things looked dim for the Birds from the get-go, with the game opening on an error by shortstop Stephen Branca. Laredo would score their first run of many three at-bats later when designated hitter Nick Van Stratten touched that plate during a double play. The top of the second inning saw the 1-0 Lemur lead balloon to 6-0 thanks in part to a three-run dinger by Laredo leftfielder JP Ramirez.
Sioux Falls attempted to start an early rally the very next half inning when Chris Valencia rifled a two-run shot to right field, cutting the six-run deficit to 6-2. Valencia and first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones were the lone bright spots for the Canary offense Tuesday evening, with both homering and driving in two men apiece. The Canaries’ effort in the bottom of the second went ignored by the Lemurs, however, as they slapped four more runs over the next two innings on Ruwe to grow the lead to a daunting 10-2 margin. Denker took credit for three-quarters of those runs with a monster three-run blast to left field that put the Laredo into double-digit territory.
Three more runs in the top of the sixth dumped Sioux Falls in a 13-2 rut, though the Canaries made a small dent into the scary deficit with a run in the bottom of the seventh and a pair in the eighth on Laredo starter Casey Harman. Nonetheless, Laredo relief pitcher Chad Povich had no trouble finishing the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, holding the Canaries hitless to clinch the 13-5 victory.
The Birds will return to the Cage tomorrow night at 7:05 pm for the second game of their three-game series against their southward foes. Xcel Energy will be the game night partner for Web Wednesday, and the Canaries will have in-game trivia along with concession specials all game long.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Canaries Anthony Cola