WICHITA, KS – The Lincoln Saltdogs cranked three home runs and seven doubles to dominate the Wichita Wingnuts 11-4 on Tuesday night.
Curt Smith went off for the fifth straight game. The veteran was 3-4 with two doubles, a home run and two RBIs. He is hitting .563 with four homers and nine RBIs over the last five games.
Kyle Kinman earned the win for the Saltdogs (25-18) after allowing just one run over six innings. Jordan Cooper picked up the loss for the Wingnuts (25-17).
The Saltdogs started the scoring in the first inning. Randolph Oduber got a pop up to fall between fielders for a leadoff double. Three batters later, Brandon Jacobs rifled a single up the middle to knock Oduber across and open the scoring.
The Wingnuts evened it up the next half inning. Zach Nehrir smacked a double and stole third base. Then, Abel Nieves bounced a ball through the infield to tie it up. The next two batters reached to load the bases with one out. Kinman induced a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the bases-loaded jam.
Lincoln reclaimed the lead in the fourth. Smith pounded a double to the fence and moved to third on a single from Jacobs. Cesar Valera unloaded the bases with a double in the next at bat and moved to third on an error. Then, Chase Simpson poked a base hit through the left side to knock in another run and make it 4-1.
The bats stayed hot for the fifth. Angel Reyes and newcomer T.J. Bennett each notched doubles with one out to score a run. Next, Smith unloaded a two-run homer. Three pitches later, Brandon Jacobs blasted a solo shot for back-to-back blasts. It was the second time the Saltdogs have hit consecutive homers this season. Simpson doubled and scored on a Dashenko Ricardo base hit to make it 9-1.
Reyes recorded another hit in the sixth. He scored on an opposite-field homer from Bennett to give the Saltdogs a 10-run advantage. Bennett joined the team on Tuesdayand started in center field.
Zach Nehrir launched a three-run homer against new Saltdogs reliever Dillon Sunnafrank to complete the scoring in the seventh inning.
Derek Gordon and Brad Thoutt combined to toss scoreless innings of relief in the eighth and ninth.
Smith and Jacobs’ homers put them together atop the league leaderboard with 11 home runs apiece. The Saltdogs have a league-high 57 long balls, 21 more than any other team.
The Saltdogs look to clinch the series win with a victory on Wednesday night. First is at 6:05 PM with coverage beginning at 5:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and Saltdogs.com.