SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Lincoln got an early homer form David Espinosa, great pitching by Moises Melendez and some late magic as the Dogs (39-35) took down the Sioux City Explorers 3-1 Saturday night in front of a crowd of 1,601 fans at Lewis and Clark Park.
Espinosa smacked a solo home run, his tenth, in the top of the first inning in support of Melendez (3-3). The Venezuelan lefty then took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Leugim Barroso singled to break it up.
The Explorers tied the game in the seventh inning when Peter Barrows scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Yusuke Inoguchi. But the Dogs struck back in the eighth two two runs off Sioux City starter Jason Jarvis (5-8) thanks to a fielder’s choice, an error by Bryan Pounds and a sacrifice fly by Espinosa.
P.J. Zocchi pitched a clean eighth for the Dogs. R.J. Rodriguez closed out the game in the ninth for his league-leading 24th save.
Melendez tossed seven dazzling innings. He did not allow an earned run and struck out four.
Jarvis, a former Saltdogs, lasted eight frames and allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits and no walks. He struck out seven.
Espinosa had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI. Sean O’Connell singled and scored a run.
The two teams meet again Sunday evening at 6:05 p.m. Radio coverage begins at 5:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240. Right-hander Stephen Bougher (6-3, 5.65 ERA) faces Explorers left-hander Richard Salazar (6-2, 5.65 ERA).