LINCOLN — After overcoming another early hole, the Saltdogs (41-37) ultimately succumbed to the determined Sioux Falls Canaries (32-44) 5-3 in front of 3,137 fans at Haymarket Park Thursday night.
Nick Van Stratten hit a two-out double down the left field line to give Sioux Falls a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh. The Birds would add another run the very next batter on a Cory Morales single.
Luis Chirinos pitched very well after allowing a three-run homer to Reggie Abercrombie in the first, going six innings, giving up three runs but did not factor in the decision.
Kyle Ruwe (9-6) went seven, allowing three runs on 11 hits to improve to 3-0 against the club with which he began his career.
David Espinosa and Curt Smith hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth to tie the game at 3-3.
Alan DeRatt worked a perfect ninth to book his 17th save of the campaign.
The Saltdogs open a three-game series with wildcard-leading Gary SouthShore (46-31) Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.