JOPLIN, Mo. — The Saltdogs (30-57) got more strong pitching but fell to the Joplin Blasters (46-41) 3-2 in front of 2,031 fans at Joe Becker Stadium Monday night.
Chase Cunningham (0-2) turned in a quality outing, allowing three runs in six innings but suffered the loss. Zac Westcott worked two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, stranding two inherited runners with no outs in the seventh.
Aaron Payne put the ‘Dogs in front with an opposite field, two-run double in the third.
Joplin tied the game on a bases loaded hit batsman in the fourth, and took the lead in the fifth on a Matt Padgett cracked-bat single down the right field line.
Josue Montanez (4-2) pitched six innings, allowing just two runs to earn the victory. Winston Abreu pitched a hitless ninth for his 18th save.
The Saltdogs have now dropped 10 games in a row.
Game two of the three-game series is Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. LHP Kevin McGovern is expected to face LHP Alberto Castillo. Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.