KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Matt Larkins worked the corners with surgical precision for seven sterling innings, and the Saltdogs (5-2) played lights-out defense behind him in a 1-0 victory over the Kansas City T-Bones (3-4) in front of 3,112 fans at CommunityAmerica Ballpark Wednesday night.
The lone run of the game came in the top of the sixth, on a rally sparked by a Christian Ibarra two-out walk.
Following a Pat McKenna infield single and a Luis Alen walk, Rene Leveret drew a five-pitch free pass for the score.
With one out in the eighth, Brett Wiley cracked a slicing liner to deep left center. Brandon Jacobs fired to Pat McKenna from the warning track, who put it on the money for third baseman Ibarra to make the tag on the ambitious Wiley.
Alen threw out an attempted base stealer in the bottom of the sixth and Chase Harris made a sensational diving catch in right field to end the seventh.
Larkins (1-0) scattered six hits, struck out four and didn’t walk anyone to earn the win.
After Brad Orosey booked the first two outs in the ninth, manager Bobby Brown summoned lefty Jeff McKenzie to face the left-handed Brandon Tierney. McKenzie induced an infield pop up to end the game and earn his second save.
Sean Furney (1-1) allowed just one run in 5 2/3 but suffered the loss.
Saltdogs pitchers allowed two earned runs over 26 innings in the series, good for a 0.69 ERA.
Lincoln is off Thursday and hosts Winnipeg Friday night at 6:35 p.m. in their home opener at Haymarket Park, featuring a post-game fireworks show. LHP Bennett Parry is expected to square off against former ‘Dog LHP Kevin McGovern.
Radio coverage begins at 6:05 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.