Sioux Falls, SD-- Sioux Falls Canary starting pitcher and American Association All-Star Kyle Vazquez couldn’t contain the bats of the Winnipeg Goldeyes Saturday night, as the road team prevailed in a 12-6 win at the Birdcage. The Goldeyes tagged Vazquez for seven earned runs in five innings, allowing Winnipeg to take a split in the four-game series. Carlos Mendez was the offensive MVP of the night for the Canaries (26-47) with a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning.
An RBI putout in the first inning followed by a three-run second provided the Birds an early 4-1 lead over the division-leading Goldeyes. Winnipeg was not intimidated by the outburst, promptly putting a four spot on the Canaries the very next half-inning. A three-run bomb from Winnipeg first baseman Casey Haerther made up three of those runs, with a Luis Alen RBI single to left pushing the Goldeyes on top 5-4. Mendez’s homer in the bottom half put the Canaries back up 6-5 in the third inning of a see-saw affair at the Birdcage.
The tight one-run lead held until the top of the fifth inning when a two-run blast over the left field fence from center fielder Donnie Webb pushed the Goldeyes over the Canaries for good with a 7-6 lead. A pair of back-to-back sacrifice flies in the seventh inning put the Goldeyes up by a field goal at 9-6. The team from Canada added three more runs in the top of the eighth to put the icing on the cake of their 12-6 victory.
Canary pitching coach and spot reliever Mike Meyer was the lone bright spot on the mound for the Canaries Saturday with another spotless outing, tossing 1.2 inning of flawless ball with a strikeout to finish the night.
The Canaries will hit the bus later tonight to travel to Amarillo, where there will start a four-game series against the Sox tomorrow at 6:05 pm. Sioux Falls will head to Lincoln for four games afterwards before returning to the Birdcage on Tuesday, August 12, when they open a three-game set against the New Jersey Jackals. The Canaries will be celebrating International Middle Child Night at the Birdcage to open their homestand.
- Tony Cola