Kansas City T-Bones Rally Late to Beat Sioux Falls Canaries 9-7
By Scott Lemon
SIOUX FALLS, SD – Kansas City second baseman Brett Wiley was 2-for-3 on the night at the plate and drove in four RBIs, including a go-ahead two-run double in the top of the ninth inning, as the T-Bones beat the Sioux Falls Canaries 9-7 on Tuesday night.
Stephen Bougher (1-5, 4.44 ERA) struggled in his ninth outing of the season, throwing six innings, giving up six runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out three.
David Bergin got the Birds the lead early, hitting a line drive opposite-field two-run shot to dent the scoreboard first at 2-0.
Kansas City got on the board in the top of the second. Vladimir Frias and Brandon Tierney hit back-to-back singles to kick off the inning, then Brett Wiley walked to load the bases. Dalton Wheat drove in Frias from third with a fielder’s choice, cutting the Birds’ lead to 2-1. Bougher showed off his defensive ability, catching a line drive off of the bat of Tyler Moore, and doubling up Wheat at first to end the inning and limiting the damage.
The T-Bones tied the game in the top of the third in a very unconventional fashion. Starlin Rodriguez singled to lead off the inning, then stole second. On the steal attempt, catcher Michael Pair’s throw ended up in center field, allowing the speedy Rodriguez to take third. He then scampered home on a wild pitch to tie the game at two.
The Birds retook the lead in the bottom of the third. Blake Schmit and Darwin Perez hit back-to-back one-out singles and Jake Taylor walked to load the bases. Bergin then wore a pitch off his shoulder to force in the third run for the Canaries.
Wiley picked up two RBIs in the top of the fourth. With one on and one away, he hit a monster homer into deep right center to give the lead back to Kansas City at 4-3.
The Canaries battled back in the sixth. Ozney Guillen roped a line drive double to the wall in straight-away center, then scored on a J.C. Linares single to tie the game at four.
Bougher came out to pitch in the seventh inning, already over 100 pitches on the day. He gave up back-to-back hits to start the inning, and was pulled by Manager Chris Paterson. Josh Ferrell came in and struck out Tyler Massey with three pitches for out number one and was replaced by Jimmer Kennedy. Kennedy then walked the bases full, and gave up a free pass and the go-ahead run to the very next batter, pushing the score to 5-4 Kansas City. Frias then drove in Rodriguez from third with a sacrifice fly to center to build the lead to 6-4.
After Kansas City added another run in the top of the eighth to make it a 7-4 ballgame, the Canaries mounted one of their best comebacks this season. Jake Taylor walked to lead off the inning, followed by a Bergin single. Linares doubled with one away, scoring Taylor from second and putting runners at second and third and cutting the deficit to 7-5. Rookie Aaron Owen grabbed his bat and his helmet out of the Birds’ dugout and was used as a pinch hitter in one of his biggest at bats this season. He delivered a one-out, two-run single to tie the ballgame at seven.
Madison Boer came on to pitch the ninth inning for the Canaries and struggled mightily. Pinch hitter Anthony Gallas singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Tierney then singled with one away, putting runners at the corners. Wiley laced a 1-0 pitch from Boer deep into the gap in right, scoring Gallas easily and Tierney all the way from first, giving the T-Bones a 9-7 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. However, the Birds couldn’t get anything going offensively in the ninth, and ended up losing their 28th game of the season.
The Birds look to salvage the series on Wednesday night as they face the T-Bones one last time this series. Lefty Joe Bircher (0-5, 3.14 ERA) takes the hill for the Canaries, looking for his first win of the season. Wednesdays at The Birdcage are Wacky Wednedays, and this week is Jersey Night. Wear your favorite jersey of your favorite player from any sport and get into the ballpark for $5. Canaries jerseys will also be sold at discounted rates on Wednesday. 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.