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Birds HR's Beat Winnipeg at Cage

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SIOUX FALLS – The Sioux Falls Canaries took advantage of fielding miscues by the Winnipeg Goldeyes, while the Birds’ bullpen tossed four shutout innings to preserve a 6-5 win on Tuesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium.


The Canaries (7-12) evened the four-game series at one game apiece and pulled back to 4 ½ games behind the first-place Goldeyes in the North Division.


Tim Pahuta’s sacrifice fly broke a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring Jared Clark, who reached on the Goldeyes’ third error of the night.  Winnipeg had rallied from a 5-2 deficit in top of the sixth to tie the game, started by Josh Mazzola’s RBI double. Canaries starter Mitchell Clegg exited the game for reliever Kyle Vazquez (2-2), but an error by Jake Taylor allowed a second run home, and Nate Samson’s RBI single tied the game.


Vazquez retired the next four batters in the sixth and seventh, and Matt Daly pitched a perfect eighth inning. In the ninth, Alan DeRatt retired the first two batters on a strikeout and a groundout. He then induced Nick Liles into an infield fly ball.  It fell off of first baseman John Alonso near the mound, but DeRatt picked it up and got Liles in an unusual 3-1-6-2 rundown in between first and second base to end the game.


Vazquez earned his second relief win, while DeRatt notched his fourth save and has not allowed an earned run in six appearances.


Sioux Falls bats jumped on the Winnipeg and former Canaries/Pheasants starter Pete Gehle in the first inning. Nick Van Stratten reached on an error and came home on Taylor’s RBI double.  A bases-loaded walk to Morales came later in the inning for a 2-0 lead.


Taylor added a solo home run in the second inning, his second of the year, for a 3-0 margin.  Winnipeg scratched in two runs in the third inning on back-to-back groundouts, but Clark and Pahuta each added solo home runs in the fourth inning. Taylor finished 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, while Pahuta was 1-for-3 with two RBI.


Clark leads the league with eight home runs, and both and Pahuta homered for the second time in three games. The Canaries also lead the league as a team with 28 home runs.


Gehle went 5 1/3 innings in his return to the Birdcage, allowing five runs, three earned, on nine hits. He walked four and struck out one. Clegg finished with five innings pitched, allowing five runs, three earned, on six hits. He walked three and fanned two.


Winnipeg reliever Kaohi Downing (0-1) suffered his first loss.


Game three of the four-game series is 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, at Sioux Falls Stadium.
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