LINCOLN – The series finale between the Lincoln Saltdogs (43-23) and the St. Paul Saints (36-31) on Tuesday night at Haymarket Park will feature some extra flair. The scheduled starting pitchers, the Saltdogs’ Shairon Martis and the Saints’ Mark Hamburger, are both former Major League players.
Martis, who pitched for the Saltdogs the last two seasons, is making his first start of the year. The right-hander boasts MLB experience in parts of three different seasons. He made his Big League debut as a 21-year-old on September 4, 2008 for the Washington Nationals. Martis pitched for the Nationals again in 2009 before resurfacing with the Minnesota Twins in 2013. He owns a career 6-7 record with a 5.35 ERA over 116 innings. He tossed a complete game with the Nationals in ’09.
Hamburger has established himself as one of the best pitchers, and one of the most interesting characters, in independent baseball. The St. Paul native reached ‘The Show’ in 2011 with the Texas Rangers. He allowed four runs over eight innings of work in his only season in the majors. Hamburger went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA for the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate in 2015. He chose to leave organizational ball and play for the Saints the last two seasons.
Both Martis and Hamburger finished the 2016 season near in the top 10 for pitching in the American Association. Martis led the Saltdogs in wins by posting a 9-8 record with a 3.34 ERA (ninth in the league) while Hamburger led the league with a 12-6 record and a 3.29 ERA (seventh in the league).
Martis started the 2017 season in the Baltimore Orioles organization. The Curacao native spent more than a month in Extended Spring Training before being placed in Triple-A Norfolk. Martis was 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA over eight appearances for the Tides. He tossed 12.1 innings and struck out eight batters. He rejoined the Saltdogs on Thursday, July 27th and has made one relief appearance. He threw 1.2 scoreless innings the next day.
Hamburger leads the league with a 10-3 record this season. He has notched a league-high four complete games while compiling a 3.55 ERA.
In addition to a stellar pitching matchup, the Saltdogs are trying to make franchise history. The Saltdogs have won 12 straight games at Haymarket Park, equaling the franchise record set earlier this year. The ‘Dogs clinched the series win last night, making it a season-high six straight series wins for the Central Division leaders.
Tonight’s 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.