LINCOLN – Joe Robbins was 5-5 and hit for the cycle but the Lincoln Saltdogs came up short in a 5-3 loss to the Sioux City Explorers on Thursday night at Haymarket Park.
Robbins led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run, his second of the season and his first that left the park. He notched a two-out RBI triple in the second inning and then doubled in the fifth. He completed the cycle in the seventh inning by smacking a line drive off of the pitcher and beating the throw to first. He added a fifth hit by singling to left field. His five hits ties the franchise record for hits in a game and makes him the 19th Saltdogs player to achieve the feat.
But, the Saltdogs (47-27) were unable to get the win. Sioux City (38-39) grabbed the early lead with a solo home run by Joe Bennie in the top of the first inning. They took their second lead on a two-run shot by Eudor Garcia in the second inning.
The Saltdogs fell quiet after Robbins tripled home Dashenko Ricardo in the bottom of the second. They managed just four hits over the next five innings. Cody Forsythe earned his first win since June for the X’s by allowing just two runs on eight hits over seven innings. He struck out two and walked two batters.
Cesilio Pimentel took the loss for the Saltdogs after allowing five runs on seven hits over seven innings. He walked for batters and struck out four. It was his second straight loss but only his third defeat of the season.
The Saltdogs mounted rallies in the eighth and ninth innings. Lincoln loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but Ryan Flores got Randolph Oduber to line out and then struck out Ricardo to end the threat.
The Saltdogs tried a comeback in the ninth. Robbins singled with one out to start it. He was replaced by Matty Johnson following a fielder’s choice that brought it to two outs. Then Cesar Valera collected a base hit and Curt Smith came to the plate. Smith knocked a base hit past the second baseman and Johnson scored to make it 5-3. Valera rounded second and was tagged out to end the game as he tried to retreat to the base.
Robbins’ cycle is the first since 2006 when Pichi Balet hit for the cycle against Sioux Falls. His five hit game is the first since Ian Gac did it against Winnipeg in 2013.
Curt Smith notched a three-hit game and Fabio Martinez pitched two shutout innings of relief.
Derek Gordon takes the mound on Friday for the Saltdogs. First pitch is at 6:45 PM with coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
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