SIOUX CITY, IA – The Lincoln Saltdogs (51-30) hit a season-high five home runs and got a quality start from Shairon Martis to cruise to an 8-2 series-opening win over the Sioux City Explorers (39-45) on Friday night.
The home run barrage started in the top of the second inning. Brent Dean pulled one over the left field fence with two outs and nobody on. Ivan Marin followed his lead by hitting a double to the wall in the same spot. After stealing third base, he scored on a single by Joe Robbins to put the ‘Dogs in front 2-0.
Tommy Mendonca supplied the power in the top of the third. He belted a two-run homer to right field to build the lead to four runs.
The Saltdogs tallied another homer in the fourth. This time, Joe Robbins went deep to center field with a solo shot to put the team up five runs.
The Explorers broke through for their only runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Joel Davis broke a streak of 10 straight batters retired by Martis by walking to start the inning. Then, Tony Campana singled and the next batter struck out. Next, LeVon Washinton lined a double to the right field wall to score both runners and cut the Saltdogs’ lead to three runs.
The Saltdogs answered right back in the next half inning. Curt Smith hit a towering home run to left field to make it 6-2. It was his ninth home run of the season and his third in the last four games.
Randolph Oduber put the finishing touches on game in the ninth. The right fielder blasted a two-run dinger to make it 8-2. It was his team-high 14th homer of the season.
In addition to the long balls, Martis pitched a gem. He allowed just two runs on six hits over 6.1 innings. He struck out seven, including four in a row, compared to only one walk. It was his third quality start in four starts this season.
The five-homer effort fell one short of tying the franchise record. The Saltdogs had bombed four home runs in a game two separate times this season.
The Saltdogs won their third straight game over the Explorers. They beat Sioux City just two time in the past two seasons combined.
The Saltdogs go for the series win on Saturday. First pitch is at 7:05 PM with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
The team returns to Lincoln to face the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Monday, August 21st. 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.