SIOUX FALLS – Sioux Falls Canaries pitcher Ben Moore set an American Association record with his 40th career win on Tuesday night, leading the Canaries to a 7-4 win over the St. Paul Saints at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Moore (1-1) notched his first win of the season with a quality start, and he surpassed Charlie Ruud of St. Paul (2006-2009) on the all-time wins list.
"It feels pretty good. I didn't really know about that coming into the season, but now that it's happened, it's pretty cool," Moore told the Canaries broadcast team after the game.
Moore struggled early, giving up two runs in the first inning and hitting two batters in the second. St. Paul (3-2) threatened to add to their lead, but a fine defensive play helped Moore out when right fielder Chandler Laurent made a diving catch on a sinking line drive and then doubled off a St. Paul runner to end the inning.
Sioux Falls (2-3) got going offensively immediately with runs in the first three innings. With the Canaries down 2-0 in the first, Cory Morales scored on a St. Paul throwing error. In the second, Morales tripled home Jake Taylor, who had walked. J.P. Ramirez followed with an RBI double, and Sioux Falls led 3-2. Jared Clark added a third-inning solo home run, his second of the season, extending the Sioux Falls lead to 4-2.
The Birds put the game away in the fourth. Nick Van Stratten walked to lead off the inning. Morales followed with a home run, his second of the year. Ramirez then delivered his second home run of the season, and the Birds led 7-2.
Moore appreciated the offensive support after the Canaries' sluggish start in the first four games. "It makes it easier to pitch," he said. "They put seven on the board for me, and at that point you can just attack, attack, attack."
Moore finished his record-setting performance by giving up three runs and striking out six with no walks over seven innings.
St. Paul starter and former big-leaguer Mark Hamburger (0-1) struggled in the loss, giving up seven runs, six earned, and eight hits in only 3 1/3 innings pitched.
St. Paul pulled within three when Jordan Tripp tripled home a run in the seventh inning and Adam Frost led off the eighth with a solo home run. They came no closer as reliever Matt Daly retired the next three batters in the eighth, and Alan DeRatt pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.
Ramirez finished a triple shy of the cycle, scored three runs and collected three RBI. Morales went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI.
Game two of the three-game series is 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22 at the Birdcage. It's a Wednesday Night Ladies' Night. There will be drink specials all night for women in attendance. The game will be broadcast on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 1230-AM, 98.1-FM KWSN and www.kwsn.com.
Notes: The Canaries had back-to-back home runs for the first time since June 6, 2012.... In addition to his home run, Jared Clark tied a Sioux Falls record with four walks. The last to do so was Cody Haerther on August 5, 2009....The Canaries played errorless baseball for the second straight game.