By Scott Lemon

The Sioux Falls Canaries and Sioux City Explorers combined for ten extra base hits, 20 runs, and 26 hits, but the Canaries outlasted the Explorers 12-8 and completed the three-game sweep on Thursday night at Sioux Falls Stadium.

Although the Canaries got the win, starter Dylan Thompson was roughed up in his sixth start of the season, allowing seven runs on 12 hits while striking out six in 5.2 innings of work.

The Explorers scored first in the first inning. After Derrick Robinson singled to start the game, Michael Lang reached on a fielder’s choice. Lang advanced to second on a throwing error by Thompson on a pick-off attempt. Nate Samson drove in Lang with a sharp single to center, putting the X’s up early 1-0.

The Birds tied the game in the second. Blake Schmit roped a one-out triple to the left-center field gap and came home to score a Cameron Monger single.

Patrick Fiala gave the Birds the lead in the third with his first professional homer, a moonshot that landed beyond the parking lot behind the left field fence, giving the Birds a 2-1 advantage. Mike Falsetti followed up with a walk, then advanced to third on an Ethan Chapman double. Falsetti scored on a Darwin Perez single, and Chapman touched home on a Jake Taylor sacrifice fly, pushing the Canaries lead to 4-1.

The Explorers tacked on a run in the fifth to cut the deficit to 4-2, then exploded offensively in the sixth. Three RBI singles and a RBI triple resulted in five runs for Sioux City as they took a 7-4 lead.

Sioux Falls battled back in the bottom of the sixth. Perez tripled to center to lead off the inning, then scampered home on a J.C. Linares single to cut the Sioux City lead to 7-5. Linares crossed home plate on a Schmit RBI single to cut the deficit to one.

The Canaries retook the lead with one swing of the bat in the seventh. Chapman and Perez reached with back-to-back walks to lead off the inning, then Taylor hit a 400-foot homer over the wall in straight away center to give the Birds a 9-7 lead.

The Explorers tacked on a run in the top of the eighth, but the Birds responded in a big way in the bottom of the eighth. Falsetti walked with one away, then came all the way around to score on a Chapman RBI double. Taylor was hit by a pitch with two away, putting runners at first and second. Chapman and Taylor scored on a Linares double, pushing the lead to 12-8, where it would stay the remainder of the game.

Jose Ortega entered in the ninth and earned his second save in as many nights to complete the sweep.

The Canaries hit the road for the weekend, with a three-game stay in Fargo to take on the RedHawks. The Birds will return home next Tuesday in their final home series of the season, welcoming in the Gary Railcats for the second time. Contact the Canaries ticket office for information regarding single game or season ticket options by calling 605-336-6060 or visit the website at for more information.

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