LINCOLN – Dashenko Ricardo launched a grand slam to right-center field to give the Lincoln Saltdogs their second straight win over the Cleburne Railroaders. The win means the Saltdogs (4-6) split the four game series with the Railroaders (4-7).
Carlos Pimentel overcame a disastrous start to the game to earn the win for the Saltdogs. The right-hander got the start for the first time in eight days and looked rusty in the beginning. Maikol Gonzalez started the game with a double and two more hits followed in the first inning. Two more Railroaders recorded walks and Cleburne scored four runs before the Saltdogs even had a chance to bat.
But, the Saltdogs duplicated Cleburne’s offense in the bottom of the first inning. Brendan O’Brien drew a walk and Brandon Jacobs reached on an error before Railroaders starter Jorge Martinez could get an out. Then, Curt Smith ripped an RBI double and Tommy Mendonca followed with a two RBI single. After a Christian Ibarra base hit moved him to third, Mendonca scored on a wild pitch to tie the game 4-4.
Pimentel settled in after that. The 27-year-old pitched through the 7th inning and didn’t allow another run. He surrendered just five hits in the final six innings while striking out three total batters. He has notched two wins in two starts.
Martinez settled in, too. Cleburne’s starter blanked the ‘Dogs four times before the offense caught fire in the 6th. To start, the Railroaders defense misplayed a pop up that let Tommy Mendonca get on base with a double. Then, Christian Ibarra hit a double to get Mendonca to third. Dashenko Ricardo stepped in after Randolph Oduber was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ricardo hit a 2-1 pitch over the opposite field fence to claim the Saltdogs’ first grand slam of the season.
Martinez took the loss after going five innings and allowing eight runs on seven hits while striking out five batters.
Josh Laxer pitched the final two innings for the Saltdogs and allowed one hit but no runs.
The Saltdogs set a new season high for runs scored in a game, beating yesterday’s total of seven runs. The two separate four run innings tied the season high for runs in an inning.
Oduber and Smith each reached base meaning their on-base streaks still stretch to every game this season. Cesar Valera did not get a hit snapping his seven game hit streak and eight game on-base streak.
The Saltdogs try to set a season-high three game win streak by beating the Texas Airhogs on Monday. First pitch is at 6:45 PM with coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
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