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Canaries Can't Hold Lead In Amarillo



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AMARILLO, Texas. – An eighth-inning lead slipped through the hands of the Sioux Falls Canaries on Saturday night, leading to a 5-4 loss to the Amarillo Sox at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium.

Amarillo (15-12), the hottest team in the American Association, won their fifth straight game and 11th in their last 13 games.

Ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Canaries reliever Matt Daly issued back-to-back leadoff walks, and a bunt single loaded the bases. Chris Grossman then grounded into a double play but a run scored to cut the lead to 4-3.  Jack Van Leur (0-1) then came in to face David Peralta, who grounded a single up the middle to plate the tying run.  Joe Weik followed with double to right field off reliever Kirk Clark, scoring Peralta for a 5-4 advantage.

Peralta did most of the heavy lifting for Amarillo. He went 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs and three RBI.

In the ninth inning, the Canaries (12-17) drew back-to-back leadoff walks. Jake Taylor attempted a sacrifice bunt that resulted in a force out at third base.  Amarillo close Eric Draxton then induced J.P. Ramirez into a groundout and struck out Jared Clark to record his fourth save.

The Canaries (12-17) spoiled a quality start from Mitchell Clegg, who held Amarillo to two runs and four hits in his strongest outing of the season. He walked two and struck out one.

John Holdzkom (2-1) pitched a perfect eighth in relief and earned the win.

Missed opportunities was a theme of the night, as the Canaries could not score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the third inning.  But the top three hitters-- Nick Van Stratten, Taylor and Ramirez -- were productive, tallying seven hits and three RBI. Taylor went 2-for-5 and extended a team-best hitting streak to 11 games.

The finale of the three-game series is 6:05 p.m. on Sunday, June 16 in Amarillo.

-Courtesy Sioux Falls Canaries
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