SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota – James Pugliese went five-up, five-down for his league-leading 17th save, and the Saltdogs held on for their fifth consecutive road victory in a 9-8 win over the Sioux Falls Canaries at Sioux Falls Stadium on Friday night.


Pugliese inherited the bases loaded with one out after Josh Norwood walked three consecutive hitters with the bases full, and after a strikeout of Zane Gurwitz followed by a warning-track fly out from Trey Michalczewski, Pugliese went 1-2-3 in the 9th to finish the game.

Lincoln (30-29) ran out to an early 5-0 lead with two runs in the 1st and three runs in the 2nd before Sioux Falls (23-36) got a run back on Mike Hart’s solo homer.

The ‘Dogs scored three times in the 4th – Justin Byrd led off with his ninth homer of the year and David Vidal then drove in two more with a two-out single to right field.

Sioux Falls got two more back in the 5th before Ryan Long hit his 11th homer of the year to give the ‘Dogs a 9-3 lead with two outs in the 6th.

The Canaries scored once on Jabari Henry’s two-out double in the 7th, and Sioux Falls plated four more with only one out in the 8th. Pugliese went five-up, five-down just one night after allowing his first run since June 20th.

John Richy allowed four runs over 6.1 innings – becoming the first Lincoln starter this year to throw six-plus innings in three consecutive starts. Walter Borkovich allowed four runs on two hits over one inning, while Norwood walked all three batters he faced – allowing all three runs he inherited from Borkovich to score.

The Saltdogs extended a handful of hitting streaks. Justin Byrd went 2-for-6 to extend his hitting streak to nine games, while Yanio Perez and Curt Smith extended their streaks to eight. The ‘Dogs have now scored 40 runs on 63 hits in four games at the Birdcage this year – winning all four.

The ‘Dogs and Canaries play the second of three games on Saturday. First pitch time is scheduled for 6:05 p.m., and pregame coverage begins at 5:35 p.m. on ESPN Lincoln 101.5 FM/1480 AM.

The Saltdogs are celebrating their 20th season at Haymarket Park this season! All ticket and promotional information can be viewed at