Sioux Falls Canaries Get Back To Winning Ways, Top Lincoln Saltdogs 5-3
LINCOLN, NE – David Bergin hit two homers and Shawn Blackwell pitched 7.2 strong innings as the Canaries topped the Lincoln Saltdogs 5-3 on Monday night at Haymarket Park in Lincoln.
Blackwell scattered eight hits over his seven plus innings of work, giving up two runs late in his outing. Blackwell has now pitched into the eighth inning twice this season, with his other outing coming on the Home Opener for the Birds. The Birds defense also came up big all night long, turning several double plays behind Blackwell.
Offensively for the Birds, third baseman Blake Schmit now has ten multi-hit games this season, going 2 for 4 on Monday with a couple singles. The scoring got started in the fourth, as both newcomer Jake Taylor and Schmit reached on back to back singles. Ozney Guillen then placed down a perfect sacrifice bunt, putting runners at second and third. Frank Martinez then laced a booming double into the gap in left-center to drive in the first two runs of the day. David Bergin had himself a day as well, putting two balls over the centerfield wall in the fifth and the seventh. This was his second multi-homer game this season.
The Saltdogs made a comeback, though. Jon Smith led off the eighth with a solo home run, cutting the lead to 5-1. Blackwell then allowed two men on base before he hit the showers. James Jones came out of the Canaries bullpen and walked the first two men he faced, allowing one runner to score, and the Dogs moved closer at 5-2. Jones, however, tight-roped out of danger, getting Luis Alen to popout for the final out of the inning.
The Saltdogs wouldn’t go down quietly. Rene Leveret hit a towering home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth to bring the Dogs within two, 5-3. Jimmer Kennedy locked in, however, retiring three of the final four batters.
The Birds play game two of the three game series in Lincoln on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. The Birds will return to The Birdcage on Thursday night to play a four-game set against North Division rival St. Paul. Contact the Canaries ticket office for information regarding single game or season ticket options by calling 605-336-6060 or visit the website at www.sfcanaries.com for more information.
By Scott Lemon