SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Patrick Johnson retired the first 19 batters he faced as the Sioux City Explorers (39-17) dispatched the Saltdogs (22-34) 6-1 to clinch the series in front of 1,488 fans at Lewis and Clark Park Tuesday night.
Eddie Young drew a walk with one out in the seventh inning to bust the perfect game. Mitch Canham then followed with a looping single to center to break up the no-hitter before a Jeremy Hamilton sacrifice fly to hitters later to make it 4-1.
Three of the six runs for the Explorers were unearned due to four Lincoln errors.
Johnson (8-0) pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on one hit while striking out six and walking two to earn the win.
Jesse Smith (2-4) pitched well in his return from the disabled list (hamstring), allowing just two earned in six innings but suffered the loss.
Jeff Marquez and Johnson have combined to retire the first 30 batters they’ve faced over the first two games of the series.
Lincoln looks to avoid the sweep Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. LHP Ryan Strufing (0-1, 3.27) will square off against RHP John Straka (7-1, 3.09). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.