Ryan Mitchell dominated the Saltdogs (48-43), striking out 12 in seven innings as the Amarillo Sox (48-43) posted a 6-0 series-opening victory in front of 3,491 fans at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium Friday night.
Mitchell (7-5) allowed just two hits and two walks, fanning a career high. The ‘Dogs reached second base just twice the entire game.
Chris Grossman hit a solo home run in the third to make it 3-0 Sox, who tallied a run in each of the first three frames.
Pete Parise (10-7) lasted 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits before being ejected. Yasel Gomez, Chris Valencia and Jermel Lomack also left the game in the bottom of the third.
The Saltdogs are now two back of Winnipeg for second place in the wild card standings with nine games to play.
The clubs are back at it Friday night at 7:05 p.m. for game two of the three-game series. Mike Burns (7-4, 4.06) will take the hill against Matt Larkins (5-2, 5.24).