LINCOLN, NE – The Sioux Falls Canaries recorded 16 hits and dominated the Lincoln Saltdogs 12-3 in the series finale Sunday afternoon.
Lincoln (33-39) set a season-high in batters faced in an inning after allowing 12 batters to hit in the fourth. The Canaries (28-44) scored seven runs in the inning, tying the previous season-high allowed by the Saltdogs. Lincoln has lost a season-high five straight series.
It was a close game in the first couple of innings. Canaries left fielder Jabari Henry drew a walk from Saltdogs starter Brad Thoutt to begin the second inning. He moved to third base on two wild pitches and scored on a throwing error from the catcher to make it 1-0.
Lincoln answered back in the next half inning. Curt Smith ripped a double to begin the frame and advanced to third base on a groundout. He scored on a wild pitch to tie it up.
Sioux Falls started to find their groove in the third. Chris Grayson and Mike Hart each notched RBI singles to make it a three-run game.
The Birds blew it open in the fourth. Thoutt struggled with his control and walked the first batter. After a single and a fly out, Jordan Dean tripled in two runs to end Thoutt’s day. Cortland Cox struggled with command in relief. He walked the next batter then gave up a sacrifice fly. After another walk and a Hart RBI single, Patrick Fiala drilled a three-run homer to make it 10-1.
Sioux Falls tacked on a couple more in the sixth, this time off reliever Dan Johnson. The Canaries reeled off four straight two-out hits to stretch their lead to 11 runs.
Johnson, though, pitched well in relief. The knuckleballer pitched five innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. He did not issue a walk and struck out three in his first pitching appearance since July 1.
Lincoln’s offense broke through for some late runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. T.J. Bennett capped off a strong homestand with a solo homer, his fourth in six games. Ivan Marin drew a walk and scored on a Christian Ibarra single to complete the scoring.
Canaries shortstop Jordan Dean finished the game 5-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Miles Nordgren earned his first win of the season with a quality start. Every Canary reached base and all but two notched hits.
The Saltdogs look to get back on the winning track on the road against the Gary SouthShore RailCats. First pitch on Monday is at 7:10 PM with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and http://www.espn1480.com/lincoln-saltdogs-baseball/.