By Michael Dixon
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Justin Byrd had three hits and three stolen bases, and the Lincoln Saltdogs held on for a 5-4 win over the Sioux City Explorers at Mercy Field on Wednesday night.
The Explorers (38-43) took a 1-0 lead on Danry Vasquez’s solo homer in the 1st, but Randy Norris tied the game with a one-out homer in the 3rd.
Rayder Ascanio gave the Saltdogs (38-45) a 3-1 lead with a two-run homer later in the 3rd, and Norris’s RBI single made it 4-1 in the 4th.
Justin Byrd’s two-out RBI single made it 5-1 Lincoln in the 6th inning, while Zach Keenan retired the final 11 batters he faced over a six-inning, one-run outing in which he allowed just three total hits.
The Explorers drew within one run in the 8th inning. Gabe Snyder’s RBI groundout made it 5-2 before Ademar Rifaela and Sebastian Zawada each two-out, run-scoring hits.
Matt Cronin got the final out of the eighth inning before a 1-2-3 9th completed his second save of the season. Jonathan Cheshire went 1-2-3 in the 7th and Steffon Moore allowed three runs in the 8th inning.
The ‘Dogs evened the series and moved to one game back of the X’s for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division.
The series concludes Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and pregame coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on ESPN Lincoln 101.5 FM/1480 AM.