Richard Salazar worked in and out of jams all night for Sioux City as the Explorers (9-12) beat the Saltdogs (10-12) 6-2 in front of 3,214 fans at Haymarket Park Friday night.
The Saltdogs loaded the bases with one out in the second but could not score, and had runners on the corners with no outs in the seventh but couldn’t break through.
Sioux City broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth and added to its lead with a Ryan Priddy two-run, ground rule double in the fifth to make it 5-1.
Salazar (2-3) worked eight innings, allowing one run while scattering nine hits to earn the victory. Ryan Sheldon (2-1) went six innings, allowing three earned on six hits while striking out six to take the loss.
Lincoln’s lead-off hitter reached in six of the first seven innings, but the club managed to drive him in just once. The ‘Dogs stranded 10 men in total, including three on third base.
Joe Spiers committed two errors but had a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a walk and a run. Mike Provencher finished 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. John Alonso (who stroked a game-tying RBI single in the first) finished 2-for-4. Jared McDonald went 2-for-4 with a run.
The ‘Dogs made three errors in total, leading to two unearned runs.
The teams meet again Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. for game two of the three-game set. Wade Mackey (0-0, 4.20) is set to pitch against Jason Jarvis (1-2, 3.55).