SIOUX FALLS – Tim Pahuta hit two home runs, including a grand slam, to lead the Sioux Falls Canaries in a 10-7 win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes on Wednesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium.
The Canaries pulled to 3 ½ games behind the first-place Goldeyes and can clinch the four-game series tomorrow after taking two of the first three games.
Sioux Falls never trailed following John Alonso's solo home run in the second inning, his fifth of the year. In the third, Nick Van Stratten led off with a single. Winnipeg starter Alex Capaul (1-3) issued two walks later in the inning to set up Pahuta's grand slam onto the right field porch for a 5-0 lead.
Twice the Canaries built six-run leads, and twice Winnipeg clawed back off Sioux Falls starter Ben Moore (3-1) to within three runs. But four Canaries relievers combined shut out the Goldeyes in the final 2 1/3 innings and retire the final seven batters.
Alan DeRatt struck out the side in order in the ninth inning for his fifth save of the year and second in a row.
Pahuta belted his second homer of the game in the fifth inning, a solo shot over the right field wall, and finished 2-for-5 with five RBI. After homering five times in the last four games, he has seven home runs and leads the club with 18 RBI.
All but one batter had a hit in the Canaries lineup to match a season-high 14 team hits. Jake Taylor quietly had a 3-for-4 night with an RBI, while the bottom three batters in the order – Cory Morales, Nate Baumann and Kevin Dultz -- combined for six hits. Baumann had two doubles.
Moore earned the victory despite yielding seven runs on 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five and did not issue a walk.
Capaul surrendered all 10 runs on 11 hits in just 4 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out one.
The finale of the four-game series is at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, at Sioux Falls Stadium. It's Happy Hour Thursday. Domestic draught beers will be $1 from 5-7p.m. and just $2.50 after. The game will be broadcast on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 1230-AM, 98.1-FM KWSN and www.kwsn.com.