SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Matt Larkins delivered a big starting performance as the Saltdogs (50-44) edged the Sioux City Explorers (49-45) 3-2 to remain atop the Central in front of 1,242 fans at Lewis and Clark Park Tuesday night.
The Saltdogs lead both Sioux City and Gary by one game with six to play.
Larkins (7-7) pitched seven strong frames, allowing two runs on five hits to earn the win, allowing no hits over his last three.
Evan Reed worked a hitless ninth to book his 20th save in 20 chances.
The Saltdogs took the lead in the sixth on a Cesar Valera soft single to right after Austin Gallagher tied the game with a double to right center.
Gallagher has hit safely in all 10 games in a Lincoln uniform.
Jon Smith crushed a solo homer in the second, his 12th of the season.
The series continues Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Ryan O’Sullivan is expected to face RHP Jake Kuebler. Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.