LINCOLN — In a well-pitched home opener on both sides, Winnipeg catcher Luis Alen delivered the winning blow in the seventh as the Goldeyes (5-3) toppled the Saltdogs (4-4) 3-2 in front of 4,242 fans at Haymarket Park Friday night.
With two outs and a runner on second in the top of the seventh, Alen sliced a single to right center field off Lincoln reliever Ian Kadish, scoring Ryan Pineda to give the Fish a 3-2 lead.
Matt Jackson (2-0) pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits to earn the victory. Marquis Fleming (0-2) went 6 1/3 frames, surrendering three runs on five hits to suffer the loss. Chris Kissock worked a perfect ninth inning to register his first save.
Winnipeg scored a run in each the second and third innings, and Jon Gaston tied the game for the Saltdogs with a two-run single to left field in the bottom of the third.
Ian Kadish and Conor Spink combined to throw 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief for Lincoln.
Saltdogs' starting pitchers have now turned in seven consecutive quality starts.
The clubs are back at it Saturday night at 7:45 p.m. for game two of the three-game series. RHP Zachary Varce (1-0, 0.00) will toe the slab for Lincoln against LHP Nick Hernandez (0-0, 9.00) for Winnipeg. Radio coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. on KFOR 1240.
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