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Birds blow 5-run lead, lose to Quebec



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SIOUX FALLS -- As the winds shifted at Sioux Falls Stadium Wednesday night, so did the fortunes of the Sioux Falls Pheasants.

 

With the wind blowing in, the Pheasants jumped to an early 5-0 lead. When a front rolled through and the winds howled out in the fifth inning, the Quebec Capitales took advantage with three home runs to come back and beat the Pheasants 11-6. 

 

Quebec jumped ahead for good in the seventh inning. Rene Leveret’s RBI double tied the game before Steve Brown’s grand slam gave the Capitales a 10-6 lead. It was his second home run of the day, capping 3-for-5 night with five RBI.

 

Dan Cooper (1-4) entered the game in the seventh in relief of Pheasants starter Mark Michael, but found trouble when the normally sure-handed Pheasants middle infield committed two errors. He suffered the loss, allowing five runs, all unearned, on two hits and two walks.

 

“You look at his line and Cooper takes the loss, but he was pitching in the inning that we kicked a couple of balls,” said Pheasants manager Steve Shirley. “For the most part, he went out there, did his job and forced groundballs. We just have to make those plays.”

 

Tony Davis (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Capitales starter Bryan Rembisz. He threw the sixth inning and gave up one run on one hit. He also struck out one and walked two batters.

 

The Pheasants bats were hot again to start the game as they sent nine to the plate in the second inning. Al Quintana’s single plus a throwing error plated three runs, and Cory Morales’ single scored the fourth and final run in the inning.

 

Quintana finished 1-for-3 with two RBI, and Morales was 3-for-4 with an RBI.

 

The early lead extended in the fourth inning on Ridge Carpenter’s solo home run. It was his third smash of the year, all with the Pheasants, for a 5-0 advantage.

 

Quebec fought their way back in the fifth and sixth innings, tying the game. Two home runs and back-to-back RBI singles closed the gap to 5-4 in the fifth inning, and Patrick D’Aoust’s sacrifice fly to center field tied it in the sixth inning.

 

Jared Bolden’s RBI single in the sixth gave the Pheasants a 6-5 lead, but the Capitales took the lead in the seventh.

 

Quebec added to their lead in the eighth inning, making it 11-6, on Josue Peley’s RBI single. He was one of four Capitales to have multi-hit performances, batting 2-for-4.

 

“In a game where the weather changes and the wind starts to blow, we needed to take advantage of the wind, which Quebec did do,” said Shirley. “When the wind is blowing straight out, usually there are a lot of runs being scored.”

 

The Pheasants still have a 2-1 advantage in the four-game series.

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