LINCOLN — After overcoming an early 7-2 deficit, the Saltdogs (33-31) could not hold a four-run lead in the ninth as the Kansas City T-Bones (32-34) came back to win a 14-12 thriller in front of 5,424 fans at Haymarket Park Friday night.
Trailing 12-8 in the ninth, the T-Bones scored six runs on five hits, with T.J. Mittelstaedt delivering the go-ahead two-run double to right.
Patrick Mincey (3-3) allowed three runs in the eighth but got the win. Kris Regas worked a scoreless ninth for his 14th save.
Jhonny Montoya (1-1) allowed five runs on four hits in 1/3 of an inning to suffer the loss.
Jon Gaston went 4-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI for the Saltdogs in his first game since June 14, after resting an oblique injury on the inactive list.
Luis Nunez went 4-for-5 with two doubles and four runs scored.
Kansas City scored seven runs in the third to take a 7-2 lead, but Lincoln then sprung for 10 of the game's next 11 runs. Matt Forgatch gave the 'Dogs a 8-7 lead with a two-out, two-strike, two-run homer in the fifth.
The Saltdogs allowed a season-high 14 runs on a season-high 18 hits in front of the largest home crowd of the year.
Lincoln's All-Star closer Marshall Schuler was unavailable after having pitched in the previous four games.
The clubs are back at it Saturday night for game two of a three-game series. Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.