LINCOLN – Josh Hodges took a no-hit bid to the bottom of the 6th inning and the Cleburne Railroaders beat the Lincoln Saltdogs for the second straight game.
The 4-1 loss pushes the Saltdogs (2-6) to the bottom of the American Association Central Division standings in the early part of the season. The win propelled Cleburne (4-5) to second place in the South and just one game back of the Wichita Wingnuts.
Hodges earned the win for the Railroaders, lasting seven innings and allowing one run on three hits. He struck out four batters compared to two balks.
Robby Rowland is charged with the loss for the Saltdogs. The right hander left the game after getting hit by a line drive in the 4th inning. Rowland was struck in the head and laid down on the mound for minutes while medical staff tended to him. He was able to walk off the field under his own power.
For the second night in the row, it was Mitch Glasser who provided the offense for the Railroaders. The right fielder hit an opposite field home run in the second at bat of the game. It was his second home run in the past two games.
The next runs also came on the Cleburne side. The Railroaders strung together five straight hits in the top of the third inning to extend their lead to 4-0. Geraldo Valentin had the big hit in the frame, a two RBI double.
The Saltdogs bullpen kept the team within striking distance after Rowland was forced out of the game. J.R. Bunda went 3.2 innings and allowed just three hits while striking out two batters. Zac Person had his best outing of the season, pitching scoreless frames in the 8th and 9th innings.
Randolph Oduber supplied the only run of the game for the Saltdogs. The outfielder smoked a line drive to deep center field that landed in the trees that make up the batters eye. Brent Dean recorded a double in the next at bat but was thrown out trying to steal third base.
Cesar Valera also tallied an extra-base hit for the Saltdogs, a 7th inning double. Valera and Oduber have reached base in every game this season.
The Saltdogs finished the game with only four hits, tying their lowest output of the season.
Cleburne and Lincoln duel again on Saturday night. First pitch is at 6:45 PM and coverage begins at 6:15 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
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