LINCOLN — The Saltdogs (39-29), who enjoyed their best July in franchise history, rallied in the ninth but fell 8-3 to the St. Paul Saints (47-22) in front of 2,928 fans at Haymarket Park Sunday afternoon.
The first-place ‘Dogs went 20-9 in July, besting 2001’s seventh-month win total by three.
John Straka (9-3) pitched seven shutout innings to earn the win. Caleb Thielbar was needed as the third reliever of the ninth to book his third save.
Lincoln scored three times in the ninth, but the game ended with the bases loaded and the tying run in the on-deck circle.
Matt Larkins (6-4) yielded five earned in 5 2/3 innings to suffer the loss.
Rene Leveret went 2-for-4, accounting for half of Lincoln’s hits.
The A.A. All-Star Game is Tuesday at 7 p.m. in St. Paul and will be televised live on Fox Sports Midwest Plus. Curt Smith, Luis Alen, Lindsey Caughel and Evan Reed will represent the Saltdogs at CHS Field.
Lincoln returns to action Thursday night at 6:35, hosting the Wichita Wingnuts on Buck Night at Haymarket Park.