LINCOLN SALTDOGS GAME REPORT
Thursday, August 31, 2006 at Midway Stadium, St. Paul, Minn.
@ Lincoln (66-33/1-2) 000 200 000 2 8 1 / 9 LOB
@ St. Paul (56-43/2-1) 000 532 00x 10 14 0 / 4 LOB
WPCharlie Ruud (1-0/8-7)
LPBrian Rodaway (0-1/8-4)
HRRenick, SP 2 (2)
LINCOLN DROPS SECOND-STRAIGHT TO ST. PAUL; TRAILS SERIES 2-1
The curtain is a loss away from closing on Lincolns magical 2006 season in the wake of the Saltdogs 10-2 loss at St. Paul on Thursday night. The Dogs now trail the Saints 1-2 in their best-of-five American Association North Division playoff series.
After three scoreless innings, Lincoln got on the board first with a pair of unearned runs courtesy of a St. Paul error and a misplayed pop-up. With one out Pichi Balet reached on an error by shortstop Brian Sprout and then with two outs Josh Patton singled. Kevin Sullivan walked to load the bases for Paul Powell. On a 3-2 pitch, Powell popped up to shallow right field for what should have been the third out but second basemen Josh Renick lost the ball in the dusk sky and allowed it to fall giving the Saltdogs a short-lived 2-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, St. Paul got a leadoff single from Pat Scalabrini but then two outs later got four more singles and a walk that produced five runs and seized the lead. In their next at bat, Renick led off with just his second homerun of the season. Later in the inning, with two on and two outs, back-to-back singles by Brian Sprout and Nick Gretz drove in two more runs. In going up 8-2, seven of the Saints first eight runs were scored with two outs in an inning. The Saints then put the finishing touches on the night when Renick hit his second homer of the night, a two-run shot, that put St. Paul in cruise control for a 2-1 series lead.
Lincoln is now in a must-win situation in Game 4, which is set for Friday night at 7 p.m. If the Dogs win, it would set the stage for a fifth and deciding game on Saturday in St. Paul. A loss and their 2006 season will come to an end. LHP Roger Lincoln (6-5, 3.50) will start for the Saltdogs while the Saints will counter with their ace, RHP Justin Lord (11-3, 4.20 in the regular season), who was the losing pitcher in the series opener.