Lincoln Saltdogs top Sioux City

The Lincoln Saltdogs shut down Sioux City on Sunday, beating the Explorers 5-1.

Lincoln improves to 35-26 on the season, 6-7 in the second half. Saltdogs rookie starter John James (2-0), making just his third professional start, hurled Lincoln's first complete game of the season. James allowed just an unearned run on five hits, walking none and striking out eight.

Sioux City scored its run on a throwing error in the fifth inning, but after that play, James didn't allow another baserunner until the ninth inning. Lincoln scored its first run in the third inning. Vance Albitz singled and went to third on Gavin Dickey's single. Dickey was picked off trying to steal second, but Albitz came home to score on the play.

The Explorers tied it in the fifth inning, but the Saltdogs responded with three runs in the sixth off of X's starter Jae Jung (5-6). Lincoln put runners on first and second with two out, a Jung balk moved them to second and third, and Brandon Jones hit a two-run single to put the 'Dogs ahead to stay. Albenis Machado added an RBI single later in the sixth, and Argelis Nunez added an RBI double in the seventh to set the final margin.

Machado had the only multi-hit night for Lincoln, going 2-for-4. Every other Saltdogs batter had one hit, however, as Lincoln totaled 11 hits on the night. The two teams play the finale of their four-game series Sunday night at 6:05pm. Lincoln's starter has not been announced.