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Two Homers Power Pheasants over Winnipeg

July 20, 2012 - American Association (AA) - Sioux Falls Canaries News Release

SIOUX FALLS -- The Sioux Falls Pheasants twice used the longball to take leads and defeat the Winnipeg Goldeyes 7-4 Friday at Sioux Falls Stadium.

Cory Morales' two-run shot to the left party deck in the sixth inning broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Pheasants a 5-3 lead.

Morales was one of four players to provide multi-hit performances for the 2,714 fans in attendance. Morales, Al Quintana and Trevor Lawhorn all went 2-for-4, while Cesar Nicolas batted a perfect 4-for-4.

"We were able to sit on pitches tonight and hit them well," said Pheasants shortstop Jake Taylor, who was 1-for-3 with two RBI. "They were throwing us a lot of the same pitches one at-bat to the next, so we just had to know what was coming and wait for one."

The Goldeyes had an early lead, tallying one run in the first inning on Yurendell de Caster's bloop single.

The Pheasants took the lead and extended it in the first two innings. Lawhorn smashed a two-run home run to centerfield, putting the Pheasants ahead 2-1, and Dan Barbero's RBI groundout in the second stretched the advantage to 3-1.

However, the Goldeyes erased the lead in the fourth inning with Josh Mazzola's RBI double and Kyle Day's RBI single.

The fourth was the only troublesome inning for Pheasants starter Peter Gehle (5-5). He threw 7 1/3 innings allowing three earned runs on eight hits. He walked three batters, but struck out six in a quality start and victory.

"Peter has really good stuff, and when he attacks the strike zone with all of his pitches, he's successful," said Shirley. "Tonight he kept the ball down, kept them off balance and made great pitches."

Winnipeg closed the gap to 5-4 with an unearned run in the eighth inning. Price Kendall scored on Nick Judkins' errant throw on an attempted double play.

Taylor's two-run double gave the Pheasants cushion in the bottom of the eighth. He slammed a 3-1 pitch off of the center field wall that easily scored Nicolas from second and Morales from first for a 7-4 advantage.

"The guys have been working very hard, and it helps to get Cory's bat and Jake's bat back in the lineup," said Shirley. "They both provided big hits for us tonight. It has been important to get these guys back in the lineup and give a lineup that the pitchers have to respect."

Kyle Mertins took on the closing role a day after closer Cody Evans departed for the Toronto Blue Jays' organization. He finished the game in relief of Gehle, tossing the final 1 2/3 innings for his second save of the year.

Goldeyes starter Chris Salamida (2-4) suffered the loss over 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits.

Sioux Falls improved their record to 29-30, but still are eight games back in the North Division.

"We may be last in our division, but we have Fargo and Winnipeg again next week," added Taylor. "These are series' we know we need to win and we can't rely on other teams to get us back into it, we have to do it by ourselves."

Game three of the four-game series is at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday, July 21 at Sioux Falls Stadium. Saturday night is Military night: members of the military can purchase a ticket for just $5 and enjoy $2.50 domestic tap beer during the game! Plus, don't miss the pregame ceremony, featuring a field-size American flag and a scheduled Navy flyover!


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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