LINCOLN – The Lincoln Saltdogs scored four runs on five hits in the 6th inning to earn their first win at home 7-1 over the Cleburne Railroaders.
Leuris Gomez earned the win for the Saltdogs by pitching two scoreless innings of relief. Santos Arias was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits over five innings for the Railroaders.
Matt Portland set the tone for the Saltdogs. The left-handed starting pitcher struck out seven batters in five innings to slow down Cleburne’s offense that hit .310 in the first two games of the series. He allowed only one run over five innings in his first outing this season that lasted longer than two outs.
The Saltdogs offense first got going in the bottom of the 5th inning. Christian Ibarra drew a one out walk and moved to second on a Randolph Oduber ground ball. Then, Dashenko Ricardo provided the two out hit the ‘Dogs have been lacking this season; a single that scored Ibarra from second.
An avalanche of offense came in the 6th. New Saltdogs outfielder Brendan O’Brien led off with a single to bring Brandon Jacobs to the plate. The left fielder cranked a homer to right center field for his RBIs of the season. The hits continued to come after the Jacobs blast. Cesar Valera extended his hitting streak to seven games with a base knock. Later, Tommy Mendonca hit a double to put runners on second and third for Christian Ibarra. The third baseman hit a sacrifice fly and both runners tagged up. Randolph Oduber closed the scoring by notching a two out base hit that scored Mendonca to make it 5-1.
The Saltdogs kept the bats going in the 8th inning. Jacobs got aboard with a walk and moved to second on a groundout. Next, Curt Smith ripped a double to send Jacobs home. Ibarra smoked a double later in the inning to score Smith and make the score 7-1.
Gomez, Fabio Martinez and Michael Wagner combined to throw four shutout innings of relief for the Saltdogs bullpen.
The Saltdogs set season highs in runs in an inning and in a game plus season highs in hits in an inning and hits in a game.
The win broke a five game losing streak that dated back to the Saltdogs’ win at Kansas City on Sunday, May 21st. The Saltdogs climbed to third place in the American Association Central Division with the win.
The Saltdogs look to split the series with Cleburne by winning tomorrow’s game against the Railroaders. First pitch is at 2:05 PM with coverage beginning at 1:35 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com. 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.