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Birds Honored After Big Weeks



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SIOUX FALLS – Fresh off of a four-game series sweep of the Sioux City Explorers, the Sioux Falls Canaries swept the weekly American Association awards on Monday. The league announced that Canaries pitcher Kyle Ruwe was named Pitcher of the Week, and leadoff hitter Nick Van Stratten was named Hitter of the Week for the period of July 8-14.

Both selections were made by Pointstreak, the official statistician of the American Association.

Ruwe went 2-0 in two starts and gave up just one run in 16 1/3 innings pitched. He beat the Lincoln Saltdogs on July 9 with a five-hit, complete-game shutout in nine innings, a first for the Canaries since 2009. He followed that with just one run allowed in 7 1/3 innings against Sioux City on Saturday night. He did not walk anybody in either start. The veteran right-hander is now 6-5 with a 3.80 ERA for the season, and he is 3-0 in his last four starts.

Van Stratten kept up a torrid hitting pace in the month of July, in which he is batting .520. In six games he was a combined 13-for-23 (.565) with two doubles, two triples, two home runs and five RBI. He scored seven runs and stole two bases. The former Kansas City Royals prospect recorded multiple hits in four games, falling one hit shy of a cycle on two occassions. On July 9, he collected his 10th triple of the season to set a new team single-season record.  Van Stratten is currently second in the league in average (.358), tied for second in runs scored (49), first in hits (82), and tied for first in total bases (131). He also has 11 triples, most in the league.

“Both Nick and Kyle are having tremendous seasons and deserve these awards,” Canaries manager Steve Shirley said. “They work very hard in order to be successful, and they are great people in the clubhouse.”

Ruwe and Van Stratten have helped the Canaries win five games in a row and 10 of their last 13 contests.
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