The Lincoln Saltdogs earned their third sweep of the season on Sunday, beating El Paso 8-2 at Haymarket Park. Lincoln improves to 11-5 on the season.
Billy Weitzman (2-2) turned in another solid start for the Saltdogs, tossing six scoreless innings to earn his second win of the season. Weitzman allowed just four hits, walking one and striking out two. El Paso only mounted one threat against him, putting runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth, but Weitzman got Hector Bernal to ground out to end the inning.
Lincoln, meanwhile, took advantage of several El Paso mistakes to take a big early lead. A walk and an error put runners on first and third in the first inning, and Argelis Nunez hit a bloop double to drive in the first run. Rafael Alvarez followed with a two-run single to make it 3-0. Alvarez then stole third, and scored the fourth run of the frame when catcher Juan Medina’s throw went into left field for the second error of the inning. Lincoln added its fifth run in the third inning when Gavin Dickey singled, and then advanced to second, third and home on three wild pitches by Leonard Landeros (0-2).
The Saltdogs scored their final three runs in the sixth inning. Albenis Machado hit an RBI double, Phil Hawke added a sacrifice fly, and Dickey scored on another wild pitch to make it 8-0. El Paso broke up the shutout with Mike Provencher two-out, two-run double in the top of the eighth.
The Saltdogs went 5-1 on their first homestand of 2010, and now have a four-game winning streak. Lincoln has won 11 of its past 12 games after an 0-4 start. No Saltdogs player had a multi-hit night, although Alvarez went 1-for-1 with three walks, a run scored and two RBI.
After an off-day on Monday, Lincoln travels to Sioux City for a three-game series that begins Tuesday night at 7:05. Right-hander Jim Paduch will take the mound for the Saltdogs.