SIOUX CITY, Iowa. -- The Sioux City Explorers scored five unanswered runs en route to a 6-4 defeat of the Sioux Falls Canaries on Saturday night, setting up the rubber game of a three-game series on Sunday.
The Canaries (3-6) built a 4-1 lead in the second and third innings. Tim Pahuta blasted his first home run of the year in the second, a solo shot over the center field wall that tied the game. Jake Taylor then walked, stole second and came home on Anthony Trajano's single. Trajano collected an RBI for the third straight game.
In the third inning, Nick Van Stratten belted a two-run home run, homering for the second straight game and hitting safely in his sixth consecutive contest. The Canaries have hit multiple home runs in five of the last six games.
Sioux City (5-4) rallied for three runs in the fourth inning to tie the game. They were aided by two Canaries errors and Brian Bistagne's RBI single.
The Explorers broke the 4-4 tie in the sixth inning when Bryan Pounds scored on reliever Kyle Vazquez's wild pitch. Vazquez (0-1) suffered the loss in relief of Mitchell Clegg, who did not factor in his debut start of the season.
Eliezer Mesa singled home an insurance run for Sioux City in the eighth inning, and Chris Bodishbaugh pitched a perfect ninth to notch his fourth save of the season. All four have come against the Canaries.
Jimmer Kennedy (1-0) tossed a 1-2-3 sixth inning and earned the win in relief of Sioux City starter Dan Jurik.
After scoring four runs on four hits in the first three innings, the Canaries mustered just two more hits in the final six innings. J.P. Ramirez and Van Stratten each had two-hit performances. Ramirez cracked his sixth and seventh doubles of the year.
Sioux City catcher Alberto Espinosa led all hitters, going 3-for-4.
The rubber game and finale of the three-game series is at 6:05 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, at Lewis and Clark Park in Sioux City. The game will be broadcast on Sioux Falls Sports Radio KWSN 1230-AM, 98.1-FM and www.kwsn.com.