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Sioux City, IA - The Sioux City Explorers scored 4 unanswered runs in the final three innings of play but it wasn’t enough as the Sioux Falls Canaries came away with the 6-5 victory.


The Canaries struck early and often as they scored 5 times between the second and third innings. 


Maxx Garrett doubled with two outs in the second and scored on a single by Patrick Fiala, who then scored on a Jordan Smith double and the Birds were up 2-0.


In the third it was another parade of hits that brought in three more runs. A double by Mike Hart, followed by a single by David Bergin and an RBI base knock from Jabari Henry made it 3-0. After a fly ball to center field made it two out in the inning. Jose Sermo mishandled a ground ball at third which allowed a run to score and Fiala picked up his second hit and RBI of the night and made it 5-0 Sioux Falls.


Luis Mateo (10-5) would take the loss for Sioux City as he went 6.2 innings, allowing 6 runs, 4 earned on 10 hits, striking out 6 and walking 3. It broke a string of 6 straight quality starts for Mateo. 


Sioux City would get on the board in the fifth. Jay Baum lead off the inning with a single he was able to advance to third after a single and a fielders choice and would score on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Jackson making it 5-1.


Sioux Falls tacked on a run in the seventh as David Bergin lead off the frame with a single. He got to second and would score on a Fiala base hit. Fiala in the game went 3-4, with 3 RBI’s and a run scored. 


It was 6-1 Sioux Falls as it went to the seventh and thats where the X’s made things interesting. The first three men reached for Sioux City to lead off the inning. A single by Jay Baum and two walks loaded the bases with no one out. Daniel Jackson then sent a rocket into right field down the line which cleared the bases and got the Explorers back into the game trailing 6-4. Durango would walk and both he and Jackson would advance a base on a wild pitch to put the tying run in scoring position. Nate Samson would hit a blooper into right field but Canaries right fielder Mike Hart made a sliding catch to rob Samson. Jackson then attempted to tag and score on the play and Hart threw him out at home to end the inning and keep it a 6-4 Canaries lead.


In the eighth Sioux City threatened again, Dean Green would reach on an error. Jay Baum walked and Blake Schmit recorded his third hit of the night against his former team to drive in Green and bring the X’s within a run, 6-5. But again Sioux City would leave the tying run in scoring position as Kyle Schepel the Birds closer was called upon for the 5 out save. He would strike out McCall and Jackson to end the inning.


In the ninth Sioux City once again came so close to tying the game. Luis Durango lead off with a walk. Dylan Kelly singled to the right center field gap. Durango attempted to score on the play from first but the Canaries would gun him down at the plate and once again keep the tying run from scoring. Schepel then struck out the last two batters of the game to earn his 12th save of the season.


With the loss and a win by Wichita in Texas the Explorers were unable to punch their ticket to the post season but will have a chance to do so again with a win on Friday as they take on Sioux Falls for game two of the series with first pitch set for 7:05.