Saltdogs Top Saints

After losing three of four games to St. Paul at Haymarket Park last week,
Lincoln got a measure of revenge Monday night by beating the Saints, 2-1, at
Midway Stadium. The victory increased the Saltdogs' lead over St. Paul to
five games in the American Association's North Division with 17 games
remaining in the race for the first-half playoff berth.

The first game of their three-game series was dominated by the pitching
duel between Lincoln's Jeff Blitstein and St. Paul's Charlie Ruud, who both
put in eight innings of work. The two combined to give up just three runs
and 11 hits while recording six strikeouts and one walk but in the end it
was Blitstein who earned the win and improved to 3-0 on the season.

Lincoln's bats managed just seven hits on the night but the first one was a
big one. It was Pichi Balet's third homerun of the season and it led off
the second inning putting the Saltdogs on top 1-0. It was the only run
scored in the game until the sixth when the Dogs plated another. With one
out, Jose Torres extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a bunt single
and Bryan Warner followed with a single to center. Balet hit a ground ball
to third that the Saints tried to turn into a double play but getting Warner
at second was the only out they managed on the play. Torres moved to third
then scored when Josh Patton ripped a single up the first base line and into
right field to give the Saltdogs a 2-0 lead.

In the eighth, St. Paul scored put a run on the scoreboard and saw their
rally end on the same play. After Victor Rodriguez doubled with two outs,
Brian Becker hit a high fly ball to the right field corner. Warner moved in
direction of the ball but lost it in the lights and it fell for a base hit.
Rodriguez scored from second but Becker, trying to stretch the play into a
double, was thrown out by Warner. The Dogs right fielder fired a strike
from the corner to shortstop Ryan Priddy who applied the tag as Becker slid
into second. The run counted but the inning came to an end with Lincoln
still on top 2-1. In the ninth, Jerrod Fuell replaced Blitstein and set the
Saints down in order to earn his seventh save of the season.

With the win, Lincoln has won three-games and is now 22-8 on the year,
while St. Paul has dropped three-in-a-row and is 17-12. The two teams meet
again on Tuesday night with the second game of their series scheduled for 7
p.m. at Midway Stadium. LHP Roger Lincoln (3-2, 3.75) will start for the
Saltdogs.