FARGO, ND – The Lincoln Saltdogs’ (56-36) bats woke up in the nightcap of a doubleheader to beat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (53-40) 7-1 and avenge their 7-0 loss in the first game on Monday night.
The Saltdogs’ lead in the Central Division grew to 4.5 games with seven games left in the season with the split and losses by Kansas City and Gary SouthShore.
Curt Smith had hits in both games to extend his hit streak to a season-long 19 games. It is tied for the third longest streak this season in the American Association. Smith is two hits away from his 1000th career hit.
Game One: Saltdogs 1 RedHawks 7
Fargo-Moorhead jumped on the Saltdogs early in the first game. They capitalized on two Saltdogs errors in the first inning to score the first run. They added a run on two hits in the second inning.
The RedHawks broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning. K.D. Kang hit a solo home run and Brandon Tierney followed with a double. Three hits and a walk later, the RedHawks scored four runs to build their lead to 6-0.
Keury De La Cruz hit a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth to complete the scoring.
Tyler Alexander earned the complete game win for the RedHawks. He went seven innings and gave up just four hits without issuing a walk. He struck out 10 batters to claim the American Association single season strikeout record with 159 Ks.
Brian Smith took the loss for the Saltdogs but pitched all six innings. He allowed six earned runs on 10 hits and five walks in his Saltdogs debut.
Game Two: Saltdogs 7 RedHawks 1
The Saltdogs struck first in the second game. Christian Ibarra started the top of the second inning with a double and moved to third on a groundout. Nathaniel Maggio pulled a grounder to the right side to knock in the first run.
Charlie Valerio put Fargo-Moorhead on the board in the next half inning. The switch-hitting catcher blasted a triple and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
The Saltdogs found their offense in the top of the sixth. RedHawks starter Benji Waite had retired 10 straight batters before Cesar Valera led off the sixth with a hit. Two hits later, Valera moved to third and scored on an error. Then, Christian Ibarra walked to put runners on first and second. Brandon Jacobs smacked a single in the next at bat to score the second run of the inning. Then, the RedHawks inserted lefty Anthony Pacillo to face Maggio. The Saltdogs’ rookie hit a three-run homer to right field to give Lincoln a five-run lead.
Jacobs knocked in another run with a single in the seventh inning to complete the scoring.
Shairon Martis earned the win for the Saltdogs. He went six innings and allowed just one run on two hits. He walked three batters compared to six strikeouts. Cameron McVey worked a perfect seventh inning for the Saltdogs.
The Saltdogs face Fargo-Moorhead in in game three on Tuesday. First pitch in the first game is at 7:02 PM with coverage beginning at 6:30 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
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