SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Six unanswered runs in the middle frames, and dominant relief pitching helped the Saltdogs (14-19) to a 6-5 victory over the St. Paul Saints (20-11) in front of 3,825 fans at Midway Stadium Wednesday night.
The first five Saltdogs' hitters reached base in the sixth, with four scoring to give Lincoln a 6-3 lead. Matt Forgatch tied the game with a double to left center and Eddie Young put Lincoln in front with a RBI single.
Justin Kuks (1-0) pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits to grab the victory. Conor Spink and Marshall Schuler combined for 2 1/3 perfect innings of relief, as Schuler locked up his eighth save.
Spink entered the game with two on and two out in the seventh, and struck out St. Paul's clean-up man Angelo Songco looking, to exit the frame with the lead in tact.
Brian Joynt went 3-for-5 with two RBI. Young finished 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI. Chad Mozingo legged out an infield single in his final at-bat to extend his hit streak to 14 games.
Nick Barnese (3-2) surrendered four runs – two earned – on five hits in five-plus innings to suffer the loss.
The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Saltdogs.
The clubs are back at it Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. for the series finale. RHP Zachary Varce (1-2, 4.63) will square off against RHP Jeff Shields (3-1, 4.75). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.