The Lincoln Saltdogs split a doubleheader in Sioux Falls on Tuesday, winning game two 6-5 after losing game one 10-7. Lincoln’s record now sits at 48-44 on the season, 19-25 in the second half.
The Saltdogs cruised through most of game two, leading 6-0 after six innings. Lincoln starter John James (5-2) gave up just two hits through his first six frames, while the ’Dogs offense scored once in the second, twice in the third, once in the fourth and twice in the sixth. Phil Hawke’s RBI groundout in the second inning started the scoring, while Juan Richardson and Argelis Nunez hit RBI singles in the third. Brandon Jones added a solo homer in the fourth, and he added an RBI double in the sixth. Albenis Machado followed in that inning with an RBI single, giving Lincoln a seemingly insurmountable lead.
Sioux Falls, however, came alive in the seventh, putting together four straight hits with one out to cut the Lincoln lead in half. One out later, the Pheasants added two more singles, and an error in the outfield plated the fifth run and put the tying run on third with two out. Chris Thompson, however, got the final out to earn his 20th save.
In game one, Lincoln led 3-1 after the top of the fourth inning, only to see Sioux Falls score seven runs in the bottom of the fourth. The Pheasants tacked on two runs in the fifth for a 10-3 lead, but in this game it was the Saltdogs that refused to quit. After a one-out single in the top of the seventh, Rafael Alvarez, Juan Richardson and Argelis Nunez hit back-to-back-to-back home runs, pulling the ’Dogs within 10-7. Lincoln added one more baserunner in that final inning, but could not complete the comeback.
Nunez’s game one homer was his 21st of the season, tying a Saltdogs single-season record. He went 2-for-4 with two RBI in game one, while Alvarez went 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI. In game two, Jones finished 2-for-3 with two driven in, and he homered in both games of the doubleheader. Lincoln hit six home runs in the doubleheader, five of them in game one.
The two teams play the rubber match of their three-game series Wednesday night at 7:05. Right-hander Angel Castro is scheduled to make the start for the Saltdogs.