SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Greg Minier tossed six innings and allowed one unearned run, but the ‘Dogs lost to the Sioux City Explorers, 3-1, in the series opener at Mercy Field on Friday night.
Minier allowed just two hits with five walks and nine strikeouts, but the loss snapped Lincoln’s five-game winning streak and now the Saltdogs (46-51) must win the final three games of the season to advance to the playoffs.
Sioux City (49-48) took a 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the 4th inning. With Gabe Snyder at first, Ademar Rifaela bounced a single up the middle. Snyder went first to third, and after the throw came to third base, an errant throw from Ryan Long towards second while Rifaela attempted to advance got away into right field and allowed Snyder to score.
The ‘Dogs tied the game with an RBI groundout from Luke Roskam – his seventh straight game with a run driven in.
The X’s took the lead for good in the 7th inning. Dylan Kelly scored on an error from Josh Altmann with the bases loaded, and Sioux City added a run on an RBI single from Kelly with two outs in the 8th inning.
With the loss, the ‘Dogs are now three games back of Sioux City with three games to play. The ‘Dogs must win all three to finish tied with the Explorers, in which they advance by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m., and pregame will begin at 5:35 p.m. on ESPN Lincoln 101.5 FM/1480 AM.
The Saltdogs are playing their 21st season in Lincoln! Visit saltdogs.com and follow us @saltdogsball on all social media for information regarding tickets and promotions all season long.