ST. PAUL, MN-- After giving up six runs and suffering his first lost of the season last week against Sioux City, Kyle Vazquez new he had plenty to prove on Saturday night.

Vazquez returned to the mound and stifled Saints batters over six shutout innings to outduel Jeff Shields and lead the Sioux Falls Canaries to a 4-1 win over St. Paul at Midway Stadium.

The right-hander retired the first seven batters of the game before giving up a one-out double to Devin Thaut in the third. He would give up just two more hits over his final three innings, walking one and striking out two. Vazquez made quick work of the Saints, leaving the game after throwing just 70 pitches, 43 for strikes.

With the Birds' leading 2-1 with two-outs in the eighth inning, St. Paul brought in relief pitcher Ryan Bollinger to face Stephen Branca. The Canaries shortstop crushed a 1-1 fastball deep into the right-centerfield gap, plating home Brandon Jones and Chase Burch to give Sioux Falls a 4-1 lead.

Canaries designated hitter Chris Duffy led the offensive attack going 3-for-3 at the plate with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Duffy has been the hottest hitter in the Sioux Falls lineup over the last four games, raising his batting average 206 points, from .154 on May 19th, to .360 on Saturday night. He has also been a patient batter at the plate, reaching base in his last seven plate appearances while mixing in three walks over the last two games.

The Sioux Falls bullpen once again proved tough, with Matt Wickswat, Kirk Clark, and Allen DeRatt striking out a combined seven batters over the final three innings in relief.

The only blip on the radar came in the seventh inning with Wickswat giving up a one-out solo homerun to Henry Wrigley, who provided the only run of the night for St. Paul. Clark walked a batter and gave up a base-hit in the eighth, but struck out three before DeRatt shut the door in the ninth with three straight strikeouts, earning his fourth save of the season.

Joe Bircher (0-0, 4.26 ERA) will take the mound in the final game of the series for Sioux Falls on Sunday against St. Paul pitcher Anthony Claggett (2-0, 1.32 ERA).

Courtesy:  Sioux Falls Canaries