The Sioux Falls Pheasants couldnt cool down the red-hot Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, falling 3-1 Monday night before a sellout crowd of 4,862 at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Fargo-Moorhead (34-21) has won 13 straight games and retained first place in the North Division.
The RedHawks offense did all it needed in the second and third innings. Marcos Rodriguezs two-RBI single in the second inning gave the RedHawks a 2-0 lead and Buddy Sosnoskies run-scoring double in the third extended it to 3-0.
Pheasants starter Mark Michael (5-5) suffered the loss, despite collecting a season-high seven strikeouts. He pitched five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and walked one batter.
The pitching staff threw the ball very well tonight, said Pheasants manager Steve Shirley. Mark went out there and gave us a solid five, and the bullpen put up four zeros.
Sioux Falls inched their way back in the sixth inning with Cristian Guerreros RBI single that closed the gap to 3-1. Guerrero finished the night 2-for-4, providing almost all of the offense.
I cant belittle the idea that were missing three guys out of the top six in our lineup, said Shirley, referring to the injured Jonny Kaplan, Cory Morales and Mark Shorey. When you take away that type of offensive production, its hard to replace.
RedHawks starter Paul Burnside (6-3) held the Pheasants in check all night, allowing one run on only three hits. He also struck out three batters and walked three in eight innings pitched.
Tom Boleska closed the game out for the RedHawks, earning his 17th save by throwing a perfect ninth inning.
Sioux Falls Stadium was sold out for the first time since August 23, 2008.
Game two of the three-game series with Fargo-Moorhead is at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17.
Courtesy: Scott Beatty, Pheasants