Gary SouthShore RailCats (38-41) jumped out to a big early lead and capitalized on five Lincoln errors to topple the Saltdogs (31-47) 10-4 in front of 3,696 fans at Haymarket Park Friday night.
Gary struck for four runs in the first and tallied three unearned in the third to take the 7-0 advantage. Brian Kolb led the way with four hits, three runs and three RBI.
Matt Forgatch blasted a two-run homer in the fifth to get the Saltdogs to within three, but Gary would tack on three of its own the next inning to take a 10-4 lead.
Alberto Rolon (3-4) went five innings, allowing three earned on five hits while striking out two and walking four to pick up the win. Tommy Palica (2-8) surrendered four earned on seven hits in four innings to suffer the loss.
Forgatch finished the night 2-for-4 with a double, home run, two runs and two RBI. Mike Provencher went 2-for-5 with a double.
The Saltdogs committed five errors, which led to five unearned runs for the RailCats.
The clubs are back at it Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. for game two of the three-game set. Ryan Sheldon (5-3, 3.83) will square off against Jon Gulbransen (3-1, 2.94).