KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Johnny Barbato allowed one run over five innings in his club debut, and the Lincoln Saltdogs won a rain-shortened, five-inning game 2-1 against the Kansas City Monarchs at Legends Field on Wednesday night.


Barbato – a former Major Leaguer – struck out six with no walks and five hits allowed in his first start, and the ‘Dogs with runs in the 1st and 3rd innings held on for their first 2-0 start in five years.

Justin Byrd scored the game’s first run after a leadoff double set him up to score on a wild pitch, and he later added to Lincoln’s lead with an RBI single that scored Ryan Long in the 3rd.

Barbato sat the first eight Monarchs down in order with four strikeouts, and after allowing an RBI single in the 5th – he worked out of a 1st-and-3rd, one-out jam to get the ‘Dogs through five innings with a 2-1 lead.

Skyler Weber led off the 6th inning with a walk, but as the rain began the fall the game entered a rain delay. Originally, the game was scheduled to resume at 9:45 p.m. – one hour after the delay began – but after further discussion on the field, it was determined that the playing surface along with the threat of further inclement weather would make it difficult to finish.

Byrd finished with two hits and a walk, while Ryan Long tripled one night after hitting a three-run homer in the season-opening win.

The ‘Dogs have their third 2-0 start in franchise history and will go for their first-ever sweep in Kansas City at 7 p.m. tomorrow night. Pregame coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN Lincoln 101.5 FM/1480 AM.

The Saltdogs play the first game at of 2021 at Haymarket Park on May 25! All ticket and promotional information can be seen at saltdogs.com.