CLEBURNE, TX – The Lincoln Saltdogs won an unlikely pitchers’ duel 3-2 on Saturday night to even up the series with the Cleburne Railroaders.
Kyle Kinman rejoined the Saltdogs (18-11) today after posting a disappointing 5.79 ERA in six bullpen appearances. He went five innings and allowed just one run on five hits. The lefty struck out five batters on the way to earning the win in his first professional start.
Railroaders’ (11-17) starter Patrick Young came in at 1-2 with a 6.26 ERA and leading the league in walks. The tall righty allowed just two runs on four hits through five innings but took the loss.
Saltdogs relievers were just as good as Kinman. Eric Wooten and Shairon Martis combined to toss three perfect innings and Jose Jose earned the save despite allowing a run. Overall, Saltodgs pitchers tossed seven straight scoreless innings between the second and eighth. Over that stretch, they fanned eight batters and surrendered just two hits.
Cleburne had their offense rolling to start the game. K.C. Huth and Trevor Sealey collected back-to-back hits to start the game. The next batter hit into a double play but Huth moved to third base. Rafael Palmeiro drove him in with a single to open the scoring.
The Saltdogs took until the fifth to get going. Nathaniel Maggio drew a walk to start the frame and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Brandon Jacobs drove him in with a base hit to tie the game.
Lincoln got another run in the sixth. Cesar Valera started things with a single and Curt Smith followed with a walk. Maggio continued the run with a hit to load the bases. Chase Simpson came through with another hit to give the Saltdogs a 2-1 lead but Lincoln left the bases loaded.
The Saltdogs scored an insurance run in the eighth. Maggio recorded his second hit and moved up on another wild pitch. Then, Simpson ripped a double to the wall to send him home and make it 3-1.
Patrick Palmeiro belted a triple in the ninth and scored on a groundball from his father but Jose shut the door to end the game.
The Saltdogs win sets up a rubber match on Sunday night. First pitch is at 6:05 PM with coverage starting at 5:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM.