LINCOLN — Despite home runs from Wilberto Ortiz and Chris McMurray, the Sioux Falls Pheasants (38-49) downed the Saltdogs (36-51) 8-4 in the series opener at Haymarket Park Monday night.
Sioux Falls rallied for five runs on five singles, two walks and an error in the top of the seventh to take a 6-2 lead.
Mitchell Clegg (8-5) pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out three and walking four to earn the win. Yohan Gonzalez (1-1) allowed three earned on five hits in two innings of relief to suffer the loss.
Ortiz yanked a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the first, his fifth of the season. McMurray launched a two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth, his second in as many days and 17th of the season.
Saltdogs starter Justin Edwards was very effective, allowing just two runs on seven hits in six-plus innings but left early in the seventh with back stiffness.
The clubs are back at it Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. for game two of the four-game set. Radio coverage begins at 6:06 p.m. on KFOR 1240. Tuesday night is Bobblection Giveaway where fans can choose either a President Obama or Mitt Romney bobblehead.