GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – Luis De La Cruz avenged his game-deciding error from Monday night by earning the save and helping the Texas AirHogs to a 5-4 win over the Lincoln Saltdogs at AirHogs Stadium on Tuesday night.
De La Cruz let the tying run reach second base and the go-ahead run get to first in the top of the ninth inning but struck out Randolph Oduber for the final out of the game. The AirHogs closer notched his eighth save in the process and continued his up and down season against the Saltdogs. The right-hander is 0-2 with three saves against Lincoln this year.
The Saltdogs got on the board first with a run in the second inning. Randolph Oduber singled and moved to second on a groundout. Then, Brent Dean delivered a base hit to right field to make it 1-0.
Texas grabbed their first lead in the next half inning. Ryan Wagner singled with two outs to start things. Brian Ragira stepped up after a walk to Beamer Weems. Ragira hit a 1-1 pitch past a diving center fielder that wound up being a two RBI triple.
They scored again in the bottom of the third inning. Alvaro Rondon and Casio Grider recorded back-to-back singled to bring up Levi Scott. The AirHogs’ slugger pounded a single to score Rondon and make it 3-1.
The Saltdogs evened it up in the top of the fifth. Curt Smith came up after the first two runners walked and singled in Ivan Marin. Then, Cesar Valera hit a fly ball to right field that was dropped by Charley Thurber, sending another run in to tie the game.
The AirHogs took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. Rondon tripled and scored on a wild pitch. Next, Grider belted a home run over the right field fence to make it 5-3.
The Saltdogs got a run back in the seventh inning after Valera singled and Oduber doubled but it wasn’t enough.
Carlos Pimentel was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits in six innings of work. It was his second loss in his last two starts.
Cesilio Pimentel made his Saltdogs debut and pitched a scoreless inning. Leuris Gomez continued his quality pitching of late by tossing a scoreless frame.
The Saltdogs turn to sidearm pitcher Seth Webster tomorrow to take the series over the AirHogs. First pitch is at 7:05 PM with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
The Saltdogs return to Lincoln to face the Salina Stockade on Tuesday, July 11th. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling (402) 474-2255 or visiting Saltdogs.com. For the latest information on the Saltdogs follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.