Brandon Jones and Blake Gaileneach homered in the fourth as the Saltdogs pulled away late to beat the El Paso Diablos 10-4 at Haymarket Park Monday night.
Jones’ three-run blast to left center gave Lincoln the lead for good in the top of the fourth. Gailen added an opposite-field solo shot to make it 5-2.
After Kory Drew tripled in two runs in the top of the seventh inning, Nick Schreiber came in from the ‘Dogs bullpen and induced two ground balls to strand the tying run on third base.
Lincoln added some cushion with five runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by a Jorge Cortes two-run double.
Alex Maestri (6-6) pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits to earn the win. Reymond Cruz (1-6) went seven-plus, allowing seven runs on eight hits while striking out six and walking two to take the loss.
Gavin Dickey, Gailen and Cortes all booked multi-hit nights for the Saltdogs, who were outhit by El Paso 11 to 10.
The teams meet again Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. for game two of the three-game series. John James (6-5, 6.14) will take the mound against Colin Allen (1-6, 9.28).