SIOUX FALLS – Nick Van Stratten continued his torrid hitting by cracking four hits on Wednesday night. The Sioux Falls Canaries center fielder, who leads the league 78 hits, tripled and scored the go-ahead run in the Birds' 6-3 victory over the Sioux City Explorers at Sioux Falls Stadium.
Van Stratten has recorded multiple hits in each of the last six games, going 17-for-27 with nine runs scored, seven RBI and eight extra-base hits. He has helped the Canaries (20-32) win seven of their last 10 games and reach a 6-3 mark in the month of July.
A seesaw affair saw three lead changes and three ties, but Sioux Falls took the lead for good when Morales knocked home Van Stratten in the seventh to break a 3-3 tie. Jared Clark singled home Morales two batters later, and the Canaries added an unearned run in the eighth.
Mitchell Clegg suffered a tough-luck, no-decision after turning his third straight quality start. He left with a 3-2 lead after the sixth inning, but a fielding error led to a tying run in the top of the seventh. Matt Daly (2-0) pitched the seventh for his second win in relief. Jordan Whatcott tossed a scoreless eighth inning, and Alan DeRatt posted a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 10th save of the season.
Marcos Rodriguez twice had a game-tying RBI with a sacrifice fly in the fourth and two-out, two-strike single in the sixth inning. He finished 2-for-3, while J.P Ramirez and Kevin Dultz also had two hits apiece.
Explorers veteran starter Richard Salazar (4-2) took the loss for Sioux City, allowing five runs and 11 hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out five.
The Canaries defense turned two key double plays in the second inning and the eighth to help their pitchers out of tight spots.
The Canaries continue the four-game series against the Sioux City Explorers at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, July 10, at Sioux Falls Stadium. It's Happy Hour Thursday. Domestic draft beers are just $1 from 5-7p.m. and $2.50 during the game. The game will be broadcast on Sioux Falls Sports Radio 1230-AM, 98.1-FM KWSN and kwsn.com.