LINCOLN — Jorge Martinez threw seven shutout innings as the Joplin Blasters (15-8) handled the Saltdogs (8-20) 4-1 in front of 4,409 fans at Haymarket Park Friday night.
Martinez (3-2) took a perfect game into the fifth and a no-hitter into the sixth, and allowed just two hits while striking out six and walking one to earn the win.
Jake Taylor smashed a lead-off double off the wall in left to begin the fifth and Gabe Suarez drove him in with a triple down the right field line to put the Blasters in front 1-0.
Joplin then scored three runs on five hits (three infield hits) in the eighth to make it 4-0.
The Saltdogs scored an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth, as Matt Forgatch singled then came in to score after two Joplin errors.
Zach Varce (0-3) pitched well in his first start since June 5 (groin), lasting five innings while giving up one run on four hits but suffered the loss.
Former big leaguer Winston Abreu allowed two base runners in the ninth with one out but got a strike out and a groundout to book his fourth save.
Mitch Canham went 0-for-4 to see his hit streak end at 17 games, tied with Josh Patton for the fifth longest in franchise history.
The clubs are back at it Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. LHP Kevin McGovern (1-1, 3.90) will face RHP Nestor Molina (2-1, 2.12). Radio coverage begins at 5:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.
June 20 is a Souvenir Saturday featuring a Bryan Health Hula Hoop giveaway before Lincoln’s largest hula hoop contest following the game! Get your tickets now at www.saltdogs.com.