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Birds Swept by Grand Prairie at Cage



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SIOUX FALLS  –  The Sioux Falls Canaries lost both games of a doubleheader against the Grand Prairie AirHogs on Thursday night, falling 7-6 and 4-0 and  suffering a three-game series sweep at Sioux Falls Stadium.

The Canaries finished a stretch of 13 games against South Division opponents in which they went 1-12, and they have lost 14 of their last 16 games.

In game one, Grand Prairie broke a 4-4 tie on Ryan Pineda’s three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning. The blast to the left field party deck followed a key error – a dropped fly ball in the infield – that would have been the third out of the frame. It proved to be the difference in the game.

The Canaries scored on a bases-loaded single by newcomer Marcos Rodriguez in the fifth, and they shaved the deficit to 7-6 in the sixth on J.P. Ramirez’ sacrifice fly.  In the seventh, the Birds put the tying and winning runs on base, but Patrick Mincey induced Nick Van Stratten into a game-ending double play for his eighth save.

Tim Pahuta continued his hot June hitting, going 2-for-2 with a double. Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with three singles to right field.

Mitchell Clegg (1-2) suffered the loss, yielding six runs, four earned, on eight hits. He walked two and struck out one.  Josh Strawn (5-1) earned the victory.  He yielded 11 hits but held the Canaries to five runs, two earned, in five innings. He fanned two.

In game two, the AirHogs used two home runs off Canaries ace Ben Moore (4-3) to complete the series sweep. Angel Flores hit a three-run home run in the second inning to break a scoreless tie. Ryan Pineda added a solo shot in the third for the game’s final run.  Pineda was a combined 5-for-5 in the two games with two home runs and four RBI.

Both starters went the distance in the seven-inning contest. Grand Prairie starter Jared Mortensen (2-3) shut out the Canaries on three hits, with two walks and four strikeouts.  Moore took the complete-game loss despite a season-high eight strikeouts. He gave up seven hits and walked one.
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