LINCOLN, NE – Daniel Minor surrendered just one run over 6.2 innings as the Gary SouthShore RailCats (51-38) beat the Lincoln Saltdogs (54-33) 4-1 at Haymarket Park on Thursday night.
The superb pitching performance handed the Saltdogs their third straight loss and the series loss. The ‘Dogs still lead the Central Division by four games over the RailCats and by five games over the Kansas City T-Bones.
Minor, who was starting just his fourth game of the season, was solid from the beginning. He struck out four of the first eight batters he faced. In all, he fanned eight over 6.2 innings while allowing just six hits.
The RailCats gave Minor some run support in the top of the second inning. Frank Martinez doubled to start the frame and moved to third after Brandon Jacobs misplayed the ball in left field. Then, Wilfredo Gimenez hit him in with an RBI groundout. The next batter walked and Cole Fabio added a single before Alex Crosby doubled in another run to make it 2-0.
The Saltdogs scored their run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Curt Smith singled and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Next, Randolph Oduber smacked a double to deep center field to knock in Smith and cut it to a one-run game.
Christian Ibarra collected a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning to chase Minor from the game. But, Jorge de Leon came on next and allowed just one runner in the final 2.1 innings to earn his second save of the series.
Gary SouthShore added their insurance runs in the ninth. Cameron McVey walked one and gave up a double and a sacrifice fly to surrender two more runs.
J.R. Bunda and Casey Crosby combined to toss 2.2 scoreless innings of relief. Smith, Oduber and Ibarra each had multi-hit efforts for the Saltdogs.
The Saltdogs host the Sioux City Explorers in the final home series of the regular season starting on Friday night. First pitch is at 6:45 PM with coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling (402) 474-2255 or visiting Saltdogs.com. For the latest information on the Saltdogs follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.