The Lincoln Saltdogs bludgeoned Sioux City Friday, beating the Explorers 14-5 at Haymarket Park. Lincoln improves to 49-45 on the season, and moves into a first-place tie with the Explorers in the wild card race with two to play.
Sioux City led 4-3 heading to the bottom of the sixth, but the Saltdogs blew the game open at that point with an eight-run frame. Juan Camacho hit a two-run homer to give Lincoln a 5-4 lead and chase X’s starter Ty Marotz (6-7). Phil Hawke then greeted reliever David Trahan with a solo home run, his second of the game. A walk, a single and an error put runners on the corners for Pat Trettel, who hit an RBI single to make it 7-4. Another walk loaded the bases for Roberto Alvarez, who hit a bases-clearing double to put Lincoln in front 10-4. Trahan then finally recorded the first out of the inning, but Argelis Nunez added an RBI double for an 11-4 lead.
Nunez, who had two doubles in the sixth inning, still had a milestone of his own to reach. Batting with a man on and no one out in the eighth inning, the Saltdogs’ slugger launched his 22nd home run of the season. The blast set a new Lincoln single-season record for home runs, breaking the mark previous held by Bryan Warner and Cory Harris. Camacho followed the Nunez homer with his second long ball of the night, putting the ’Dogs ahead 14-4. Sioux City’s T.J. Bohn hit a solo homer in the ninth to set the final margin.
Early on, the game was a tightly-contested battle between two teams fighting for a playoff spot. Sioux City scored two in the second and one in the third against Lincoln starter Jim Paduch (9-6), but Rafael Alvarez hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the third, and Hawke tied it with a solo shot in the fourth. The X’s tacked on their fourth run in the fifth inning.
Alvarez ended the night 2-for-4 with his ninth home run and five RBI. Nunez went 3-for-5 with three driven in, while Trettel and Juan Richardson both had two-hit nights. Camacho’s two home runs gave him 13 on the season, nine in a Saltdogs’ uniform, while Hawke’s two-homer night put him at 11 on the season. Lincoln hit six home runs in the game, tying a franchise record.
The two teams play game two of their three-game series Saturday night at 7:05. Right-hander John James is scheduled to make the start for the Saltdogs.
For more team and ticket information, go to www.saltdogs.com.