AMARILLO, Texas. – The Sioux Falls Canaries mounted a furious comeback in the ninth inning on Friday night, but they lost 9-7 to the Amarillo Sox to open their 10-game road trip through Texas.
Trailing 9-3 in the top of the ninth, the Canaries (12-16) rallied behind a Kevin Dultz RBI double, an Amarillo fielding error, and a two-run single by J. P. Ramirez. The Canaries had two runners on with two out, but Sox closer Erik Draxton induced Jared Clark to pop out to end the game and notch his third save.
Canaries starter Kyle Ruwe (3-3) fell behind quickly giving up six runs in the first two innings. Jason Martin singled to lead off the first and scored on Chris Valencia's triple. Valencia then plated on Chris Grossman's single for a 2-0 lead. Amarillo added four more runs in the second, highlighted by Valencia's two-run double. Ruwe pitched six innings and gave up eight runs, seven earned, on 12 hits while striking out one.
Meanwhile, Amarillo starter and former big-leaguer Jason Johnson (2-1) stymied the Birds' offense early, retiring the first 12 men he faced. Over eight innings, he allowed three runs, walked three, and struck out five.
The Canaries scratched home singletons in the fifth and sixth innings but were matched by Amarillo each time.
Ramirez did most of the damage for the Canaries' offense, going 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI. Nick Van Stratten scored three runs, and Jake Taylor extended his hitting streak to 10 games with two hits.
Grossman went 3-for-5 for Amarillo (14-12). Martin, Valencia and Joe Weik each had two hits.
Game two of the three-game series is 7:05 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 in Amarillo. The game will be broadcast on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 1230-Am, 98.1-FM KWSN and kwsn.com.