Tim Pahuta homered twice on Thursday night in the Sioux Falls Canaries' 5-3 loss to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, tying and breaking both a team and American Association record. Pahuta holds the league record for now, but C.J. Ziegler of Wichita is a close second with 27 home runs.
Fittingly, Pahuta broke a team mark set by Jermaine Swinton in 2001 and Brandon Sing in 2010 with a multi-home run performance, his fifth of the season. Somewhat surprisingly, both long balls came against the RedHawks' left-handed starter, Jake Laber (8-5). Pahuta had collected 22 of 26 home runs off right-handers entering the contest.
The Canaries (38-52) took a 2-0 lead on Pahuta's first dinger in the fourth inning, a two-run shot rocketed to right field. After the Birds fell behind 5-2, Pahuta towered a ball in the sixth that landed on the right field party deck for a solo shot. He finished 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Pahuta's homers were all the scoring the Canaries could produce. Despite cracking 11 hits, the Birds stranded eight runners on base and were shut out by the Fargo-Moorhead bullpen over the final three innings.
The RedHawks (57-33) scored all five runs in the sixth inning with two outs. Buddy Sosnoskie singled home a run before Todd Jennings pulled a ball down the left field line for a three-run double. One more tally came home on an error.
Canaries starter Ben Moore (9-7) took the loss, allowing all five runs, four earned, on eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out six.
Laber picked up his second win against the Canaries this season. He yielded three runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out four.
Jared Clark was 3-for-4, and Nick Van Stratten singled to push a team-best hitting streak to 14 games.
The Canaries dropped the rubber game, and Fargo-Moorhead shrunk their magic number for a division crown to two.