Lincoln got its final regular season road trip off to a good start on Monday with a 7-3 win at
. The victory was the Saltdogs’ fifth in their last six games and it brought them to within two games of the first-place Saints in the North Division standings with five games left to play.
In winning Monday, it didn’t take long for
to take control. Seth Pietsch belted the first pitch of the game into the left field corner for a double and two pitches later Bryan Warner drove him in with a single to put the Saltdogs in front for good. After Pietsch scored,
loaded the bases later in the inning and took a 2-0 lead when Jay Yaconetti drew a walk that brought in Warner.
St. Paul cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom of the third and the two teams traded runs in the fourth to make it 3-2
. The Dogs then went up by two runs again in the top of the fifth when Pichi Balet scored on a Tony Garcia single. But the Saints, who have lost eight-straight at home, stayed close by scoring again in the sixth to cut
’s lead to 4-3.
put the game away in the seventh. Balet and Brett Cooley both singled to leadoff the inning to chase
starter Alec Sheppard from the game. The Saints brought in former Saltdog Byron Embry to face Josh Patton, who drilled the first pitch into right field driving in two runs. Patton then scored with Garcia followed with a double for what turned out to be the final run of the game. Offensively, every batter in
’s lineup had at least one hit in the Dogs’ 11-hit attack.
The scoring outburst in the seventh provided plenty of support for Saltdogs’ starter Jarrett Gardner, who battled through six innings to pick up his ninth win of the season. He picked up the victory despite giving up four walks marking the first time in his professional career that he walked more than two batters in a game. It was a stretch of 115 games with 109 starts spanning 568 innings in which he walked two or few batters in a game. With the Dogs up 7-3, Nate Staggs finished the game by working three solid innings in relief for his first save.
The two teams continue their series on Tuesday at 7 p.m. with RHP Dan Reichert (7-5, 4.54) scheduled to start for Lincoln, while RHP Charlie Ruud (10-3, 3.68) will start for