Sioux Falls, S.D. – Scheduled starter Scott Firth was lifted after just a handful of warm-up tosses, forcing the Chicago Dogs bullpen to cobble together eights innings in a 4-2 loss to the the Sioux Falls Canaries Sunday afternoon in Sioux Falls.
Firth, a Buffalo Grove, Ill. native, never threw a pitch that counted, after motioning to the visitor’s dugout following his warm-up pitches, and subsequently being removed from the game. Chicago was then forced to use four pitchers over the duration of the game, ultimately allowing four Canaries runs on five hits, while striking out ten.
The Dogs bats were fairly quiet throughout Sunday’s rubber match, scoring only once, via a two-run home run off the bat of Treysen Vavra in the seventh inning. The Dogs put two runners on base following the Vavra long ball in the seventh, but Matt Dean flew out to left to end the inning and stymie the threat.
In a game full of fits and starts and odd twists and turns, perhaps the strangest of all occurred in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs and nobody on base, Canaries right fielder, Chris Grayson launched a ball well over the right field wall in fair territory. After carefully monitoring Grayson’s sprint around the bases, the Dogs appealed the play at home and Grayson was ruled out, having never touched home plate. The play was officially scored a triple and a one-to-two put-out, keeping the score at the time 4-0 in favor of Canaries.
The game’s brightest spot came in the form of Sioux Falls starter, Dylan Thompson who faced the minimum 18 batters through his first six innings on the mound, allowing just one hit. Thompson ran into some trouble in the sixth in the form of the Vavra home run, before being pulled. His final line registered two earned runs, on four hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Rich Mascheri received the tough luck loss for the Dogs after being thrust into starting duty. The Dogs lefty allowed two earned runs in three innings in his Dogs debut, striking out two and walking two.
Blake Schmit got the scoring started for Sioux Falls with a solo home run in the bottom of the first. Schmit’s homer was the fifth of the series allowed by Dogs pitching.
The Dogs failed to convert in their first ever opportunity to win a series, dropping to 1-2 on the year with the loss. They will now head to St. Paul Minn. for a three game set with the St. Paul Saints beginning Monday at CHS Field.