GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – Carlos Pimentel took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Lincoln Saltdogs (23-11) won 4-2 over the Texas AirHogs (8-26) on Friday night.
AirHogs right fielder Denis Phipps launched a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to break up a no-hitter by Pimentel. The Saltdogs ‘Ace’ earned the win by lasting 7.2 innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on just three hits. He struck out eight batters compared to three walks.
The Saltdogs jumped ahead in the first inning for the second straight night. Cesar Valera hit a two-out solo home run to left-center field for the early lead. It was his first homer of the season.
The offense built on the lead in the third inning. Matty Johnson started it with a single to right field and Valera followed through with an RBI double two batters later. After a Curt Smith single, Trever Adams got a base hit to center field to knock in Valera and make it 3-0.
Texas got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning. Levi Scott drew a one-out walk and then stole second base. The throw from catcher Dashenko Ricardo leaked into center field allowing Scott to move to third base. Then, Phipps hit a sacrifice fly to score Scott and cut it to a two-run game.
Lincoln got the run back in the next half inning. Smith hit a hard ball to right field that was misplayed by Phipps allowing him to reach second base. He moved to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a Christian Ibarra single to make it 4-1.
The next run scored was on the Phipps homer that broke up the no-hitter.
Pimentel tossed 107 pitches before being pulled in the eighth inning. Cameron McVey got one out and Michael Wagner struck out the side in the ninth inning to record his eighth save on the season.
Brandon Jacobs and Curt Smith both got hits to extend their streaks. Jacobs has reached base in 24 straight games and Smith has built a 16 game hitting streak.
The Saltdogs are undefeated in five games against Texas and have won five straight road games. They try for a series-clinching win on Saturday night in Grand Prairie. First pitch is at 7:05 PM with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
The Saltdogs return home on Tuesday to face the Kansas City T-Bones. 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.