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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Can't Figure Out Bircher and Henry, Lose 8-2 To Canaries

ST. PAUL, MN June 20, 2017

No matter what team the St. Paul Saints line up against Sioux Falls Canaries pitcher Joe Bircher they can’t figure him out.  It didn’t get any better on Tuesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium as he stifled them for 6.0 shutout innings, Jabari Henry added two home runs and five RBI and the Saints lost 8-2 to the Canaries.  The loss drops the Saints to 20-11 on the season, but still lead the North Division.

 

          Bircher was dominant in his 6.0 relatively quiet innings.  He never allowed a runner to reach third, had two runners on at one time just once and didn’t look like he broke a sweat.  In 6.0 shutout innings he allowed four hits while walking two and striking out five.  In his eight starts against the Saints since 2014 he has allowed two runs or less seven times and the only start he’s allowed more than two runs, he allowed three.  Despite that he was just 1-2 against the Saints, but Tuesday night was a different story because his offense, mainly Henry, gave him all the support he needed.

 

          In the bottom of the first the reigning Player of the Week led off the inning with what looked like a routine fly ball to right, but in the small ballpark that is Sioux Falls Stadium the ball just cleared the wall over a leaping Danny Oh.  The home run was Henry’s fifth of the season and gave the Canaries a 1-0 lead.

 

          Saints starter Ryan Zimmerman, who had allowed just two runs in his first three starts, ran into trouble in the fifth when Ty Morrison walked and BJ Guinn doubled him to third with one out. Zimmerman got Dan Motl to line out to second, but couldn’t get Brett Marr, playing in just his second professional game.  After getting ahead in the count 1-2, Marr worked a walk to load the bases.  That brought up Henry who this time left no doubt, ripping a grand slam over the left field wall, his second of the night and sixth of the season, to make it 5-0.  Zimmerman went 5.2 innings allowing eight runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out five.

 

          The Saints avoided being shutout by scoring two in the ninth.  Tony Thomas reached on an error by the second baseman Marr when Thomas lined a shot that Marr leaped for and had the ball go in and out of his glove.  Tim Colwell doubled Thomas to third and Maxx Garrett scored them both with a double of his own.

 

          The same two teams meet in the finale of the three game series Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. at Sioux Falls Stadium.  The Saints are TBA while the Canaries go with RHP Bryce Morrow (1-1, 5.01).  The game can be heard on Club 1220 KLBB.