SIOUX FALLS -- The Birdcage could hardly hold anything in on Sunday afternoon.
Five home runs, including two each from Jared Clark and Tim Pahuta, helped the Sioux Falls Canaries pound the Wichita Wingnuts 11-6 before 3,097 fans at Sioux Falls Stadium.
The Canaries (6-11) salvaged a win out of the three-game series against the Central Division's top team, and halted the Wingnuts' five-game winning streak.
J.P. Ramirez' sacrifice fly in the third inning broke a 2-2 tie and started a four-run rally. John Alonso, Pahuta and Nate Baumann each added two-out RBI singles for a 6-2 advantage. Baumann collected his first RBI with the Canaries.
Back-to-back solo home runs by Alonso and Pahuta in the fifth inning padded the Birds' lead, 8-2. The long balls came against Wichita starter and former major-league hurler Chris Smith (2-1). Alonso homered for the third consecutive game, while Pahuta went yard for the second time in the contest. He, along with Clark, also hit a solo home run in the second inning. Both Alonso and Pahuta have four home runs this season.
Sioux Falls starter Adam Champion (1-1) held the Wingnuts to two runs through the first five innings, but he ran into trouble in sixth. Two walks and a double loaded the bases with nobody out. After Champion struck out two men, he hit Jared McDonald with a pitch to bring in a run. Champion was pulled for reliever Matt Daly, but Ryan Khoury lined a double down the left field line to clear the bases and cut the lead to 8-6.
Clark responded in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out, three-run home run against reliever Tyler White for the 11-6 margin. Clark finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBI, matching Lincoln's Dennis Raben for the league lead with seven home runs. Clark's 15 RBI also leads the Canaries.
The Canaries had five home runs in a game for the first time since July 3, 2010, when they hit a league-record seven against Sioux City. Clark, Alonso and Pahuta, the Birds' 4-5-6 hittters, were a combined 7-for-11 with seven runs scored, five home runs and 10 RBI.
Champion notched his first win of the season. He gave up six runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings while walking four and striking out five. Daly and Alan DeRatt combined to shut out the Wingnuts the rest of the way.
Smith took the loss, giving up eight runs, four earned, on eight hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out four.
The Canaries next host the first-place Winning Goldeyes for a four-game series, beginning at 7:05 p.m. on Monday, June 3. It's a Hall of Fame Monday. The Canaries will introduce potential players to be inducted into the inaugural Canaries Hall of Fame. The game will also be broadcast on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 1230-AM, 98.1-FM KWSN and www.kwsn.com.