Tomscha, Canaries Hammer St. Paul
ST. PAUL, MINN. — A consistent offensive onslaught and 4.1 scoreless innings from the bullpen added up to a huge win for the Sioux Falls Canaries on Saturday night. The Birds defeated the St. Paul Saints 10-5 to take the first two games of the teams’ three-game series.
The Birds remain in playoff position with the win. Mike Hart went 4-for-5 with an RBI triple in the win. Logan Landon drove in two and extended his hitting streak to 17 games.
The Birds took the lead in the second on a two-run single from Landon. St. Paul responded in the bottom half when an RBI single from John Silviano made it 2-1.
The teams continued to trade runs over the next four innings. A solo homer from Damek Tomscha put the Birds up 3-1 in the third, but Mikey Reynolds hit a solo shot of his own to make it a one-run game again.
The Birds loaded the bases with no one out in the fourth. Andrew Ely drove in a run with a grounder to the right side, and Clint Coulter hit a sacrifice fly to give Sioux Falls a 5-2 edge.
St. Paul countered with their own two-spot in the fourth inning on a two-run home run from Nate Samson, his first of the season.
Sioux Falls added a run in the fifth on Hart’s RBI triple to make it 6-4, and Max Murphy drove in the Saints’ fifth run in the bottom half with a sacrifice fly.
Birds starter Ty Culbreth left the game one batter later. He allowed five runs on seven hits over 4.2 innings, walking one and striking out three.
From there, the bullpen took over. Nicco Blank, Tanner Anderson, Grady Wood, Ryan Fritze and Keaton Steele allowed only two hits between them over 4.1 innings.
The Birds got four runs of insurance in the eighth on back-to-back two-run singles from Coulter and Tomscha to put the game away.
Sioux Falls now stands 1.5 games clear of St. Paul and Winnipeg for the second and final playoff spot in the American Association.
The Canaries go for a road sweep Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. Tyler Danish will pitch for the Birds; Matt Solter will get the ball for the Saints. Birds fans can listen to the game at sfcanaries.com.
By Carter Woodiel, Sioux Falls Canaries