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SIOUX FALLS, S.D.  –  Most days, it’s hard enough to win a baseball game.  On Sunday afternoon, the Sioux Falls Canaries had extra challenges.

 

Playing short-handed due to injury and two ejections, the Canaries had to use a catcher as a center fielder, a designated hitter as an infielder and a pitcher as a hitter. They Canaries still managed to pull out a 6-3 victory over the Kansas City T-Bones and salvage the finale of a three-game series.

 

Nick Van Stratten, the Birds everyday centerfielder, was held out of the lineup with a leg injury. Reggie Abercrombie, who has been playing right field since his return, started in center but was ejected in the fourth for arguing a play at the plate. Jared Clark was tossed in the fifth for arguing balls and strikes.

 

The situation forced the Canaries (31-43) to put right fielder Kevin Dultz, normally a catcher, into a center and designated hitter Tim Pahuta in the field. That meant a pitcher had to hit, and reliever Jordan Whatcott rose to the occasion. After tossing a scoreless top of the eighth inning with a 4-3 lead, he collected a two-out single for his first professional hit in the bottom half. He came home to score two batters later on Dultz’ two-run triple.

 

The insurance runs secured a win for starter Ben Moore (8-5), who overcame an uncharacteristic four-walk outing. He turned in a quality start, limiting Kansas City to three runs on six hits in seven innings. He fanned three, increasing his league-best total to 99 strikeouts.

 

Kansas City (31-44) grabbed a 3-2 lead in the third inning on a three-run rally that was capped by a contested sacrifice fly, but the Birds scored the final four unanswered runs. Jake Taylor evened the game with a solo home run in the fifth inning, and Pahuta led off the sixth with his league-leading 22nd long ball of the year, matching the third most ever in one season by a Canaries hitter.

 

In the ninth, Alan DeRatt gave up a two-out double but nothing more to record his 16th save of the year.

 

Rick Zagone (0-1) suffered the loss for Kansas City, giving up four runs and 10 hits in six innings.

 

-Courtesy Sioux Falls Canaries

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