Champion, Canaries Shut Out Xs For Fourth Straight Win
SIOUX FALLS, SD — The third time was the charm for the Sioux Falls Canaries. After missing on two prior chances, the Canaries won their fourth game in a row for the first time this year with a 2-0 defeat of the Sioux City Explorers on Friday night.
For the third time in four games, the Canaries arms blanked the opposition. This time it took the combined effort of starter Adam Champion and relievers Kirk Clark and Alan DeRatt. Champion (4-5) led the charge with seven scoreless innings. Clark pitched a perfect eighth, and DeRatt induced a game-ending double play after allowing runners on the corners in the ninth to notch his 11th save in as many attempts.
Canaries pitching has strung together 23 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, and they have allowed just three runs in the last four games.
Nick Van Stratten made the difference both at the plate and in the field. His leadoff home run in the third inning gave the Canaries a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, he helped squash the Explorers’ best scoring opportunity. With runners at second and third and nobody, he threw out Yusuke Inoguchi attempting to tag up on a fly ball. Champion then induced a groundout to end the inning.
The Canaries (22-32) added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Anthony Trajano led off with a double. He went to third on an error and scored on Cory Morales’ sacrifice fly.
Champion earned his first win in exactly one month. He scattered six hits, walked two and struck out four in a quick game that lasted two hours and two minutes.
Sioux City starter Andy Noga (3-7) was a tough-luck loser in a complete-game. He yielded five hits with two walks and four strikeouts, as the Canaries beat him for the second time in three starts.
Bryan Pounds was 3-for-4 to lead the Explorers offense as their record fell to 23-30.
The Canaries pursue a four-game series sweep against the Explorers at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday at the Birdcage.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Canaries