Sioux Falls, SD-The Explorers fell behind 8-1 through five innings and never fully recovered in an 8-6 loss to the Canaries Saturday night at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Sioux City (27-41) has lost five straight road games, and is now 4-5 against Sioux Falls this season. The Explorers opened the game with a single run in the first frame. Michael Lang reached on a one-out walk. Rene Tosoni followed with a double off the right field wall. A ground out to short by Andres Perez drove in Lang for a 1-0 lead.
Sioux Falls (24-44) ensured the X’s lead was short-lived with a two-spot in the bottom of the first. Brandon Jones tied the game with a solo home run to deep right. The Canaries took a 2-1 lead after A.J. Kirby-Jones walked and later scored on a Chris Valencia double into the right field corner. A single mark in the third pushed the lead to 3-1. A two-out rally by the Birds in the fourth plated three more and made it 6-1. Steve Tinoco walked. Jones singled to center. Kirby-Jones also walked to load the bases. Chris Duffy then punched a bases-clearing double into the gap in right center. The Canaries added two more in the fifth for an 8-1 cushion.
Sioux City attempted to crawl back in it with five runs over the next three innings. In the sixth, Peter Barrows unleashed his sixth home run of the season on a blast to deep left. Three more tallies in the seventh made it 8-5. The inning was highlighted by a two-run home run from Tom Mendonca. It was his second of the season. Rene Tosoni (pictured) drove in the Explorers final run of the night with a single to right in the eighth.
Kyle Vazquez posted the win on the mound for Sioux Falls. Vazquez (5-5) worked six innings and gave up two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Patrick Johnson suffered his second straight loss for Sioux City. Johnson (5-4) lasted just four innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits with eight strikeouts and five walks. Alan DeRatt pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and picked up his 12th save of the season.
At the plate for the Canaries, Brandon Jones went 3-for-5 with a homer, three runs scored, and an RBI. Chris Duffy was 3-for-5 with a double, two singles, and three RBIs. Steven Tinoco had two hits with two RBIs, while Chris Valencia smacked two doubles with an RBI. For the Explorers, Rene Tosoni finished 4-for-4 with two singles, a double, and a triple. Amos Ramon went 2-for-5 with a double. Peter Barrows and Tom Mendonca each homered and drove in two.
Sioux City wraps up the three-game weekend set at Sioux Falls Sunday afternoon. First pitch at the Birdcage is scheduled for 4:05. Following the all-star break, the Explorers return on Wednesday July 30th for an eight-game home stand against Fargo-Moorhead and Winnipeg. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.