WINNIPEG, Man. — The Saltdogs (6-8) racked up 13 hits and built a three-run lead in the fifth, but the bullpen let them down in a 8-5 loss to the Winnipeg Goldeyes (9-5) in front of 4,567 fans at Shaw Park Thursday night.
Trailing 4-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Goldeyes sprung for four runs on five hits off Lincoln reliever Jake Meiers (0-2), who took the loss.
The Saltdogs cut the deficit to 6-5 in the top of the eighth with a solo home run to left center from catcher Chris Anderson, but Winnipeg added two in the bottom of the eighth on a Jake Blackwood two-run double.
Gabe Aguilar (3-0) pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings of relief to earn the win. Chris Kissock worked a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
Kevin Howard finished the game 4-for-5 with a run, a stolen base and two RBI for the 'Dogs. Ian Gac had three hits, with Chad Mozingo and Anderson chipping in for two a piece.
Lincoln stranded 11 runners in the loss, their fourth consecutive defeat to Winnipeg in 2014.
The clubs are back at it for game two of the four-game series Friday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Nick Green (0-1, 4.50) will get the ball for the Saltdogs against LHP Chris Salamida (1-2, 9.00). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.
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