SIOUX CITY, Iowa — On a record-setting night for their closer, the Saltdogs (45-37) shutout the red-hot Sioux City Explorers (39-46) 3-0 in front of 669 fans at Lewis and Clark Park Thursday night.
Marshall Schuler struck out Carlos Escobar, capping a hitless ninth to notch his American Association record-setting 31st save of the season.
Justin Kuks (5-4) was fantastic for Lincoln, starting the game with 6 1/3 innings of two-hit ball – and one of those two came on a bunt – to earn the victory. Trey Barham pitched 1 2/3 hitless frames of relief to continue his sterling stretch of bullpen service.
Chad Mozingo, in his return from the disabled list, blasted a two-run homer in the fourth inning to extend Lincoln’s lead to 3-0.
After Mike Gilmartin doubled to begin the second, Matt Forgatch sent a broken-bat RBI single to center to open the game’s scoring.
Lincoln has now won 10 of 12, as they snapped a six-game win streak for Sioux City, and lead Gary by 2 1/2 games at the top of the Central division.
The clubs are back at it Friday night at 7:05 for the second of the four-game series. For the ‘Dogs, it’ll be RHP Nick Green (3-4, 5.11) against RHP John Straka (6-5, 4.38). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.