LINCOLN — All-Star Luis Alen homered and drove in all of the Lincoln runs as the Saltdogs (33-24) edged the Kansas City T-Bones (26-32) 3-2 in front of 2,479 fans at Haymarket Park Wednesday night.
The first-place Saltdogs have now won 15 of their last 19 games, including seven of eight at home.
On a hot, humid, breezy evening, Alen looped a two-out, two-run single to left center to give Lincoln a 2-0 lead in the fifth.
Almost immediately, Kansas City drew even on an opposite field homer from Tyson Gillies.
Alen then hoisted a one-out, solo homer to left in the seventh to provide the Saltdogs the ultimate lead.
Ryan O’Sullivan pitched six strong innings, allowing two runs on three hits but didn’t factor into the decision. O’Sullivan allowed just one hit over the first five frames.
Jeff McKenzie (3-3) pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless middle relief to earn the win.
All-Star closer Evan Reed worked a perfect ninth for his 14th save.
Alen finished the night 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI.
Brandon Jacobs was hit in the face by a pitch in the fifth, and came out of the game at the end of the fifth inning.
Jacobs went 0-for-2 to snap an 11-game hit streak. The tough 25-year old from Atlanta is expected to be in the lineup Thursday.
The rubber game is Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. RHP Matt Larkins is expected to square off against RHP Josh Hodges. Radio coverage begins at 6:05 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.
Online stream starts at 6:30 p.m. AmericanAssociationBaseball.TV.
Thursday is Buck Night featuring $1 Busch Light cans, hot dogs, popcorn and Pepsis.