The Lincoln Saltdogs are entering one of the most brutal parts of their schedule and were looking to get out of St. Paul with a series victory. Thanks to six outstanding innings by Kyle Kinman, the Saltdogs got just what they needed, winning 6-3 to take two of the three games in the series. Brandon Jacobs led the offense with 2-RBI. Burt Reynolds hit his 11th homer of the season for the Saints.
Both starters were quite effective early on. Lincoln Saltdogs starter Kyle Kinman allowed a single hit and a walk through the first three innings. St. Paul Saints starter Matt Solter gave up a first inning single as his only blemish through the third.
However, in the fourth, Lincoln would take the lead. With one down, T.J. Bennett walked and Randolph Oduber followed with a single. Nathaniel Maggio then grounded a ball up the middle that he legged out for a double. Bennett came around to score to give the Saltdogs the 1-0 lead. With runners at second and third and one down, Brandon Jacobs singled into left bringing both runners home to make it 3-0.
The Saltdogs would extend their lead to four in the sixth. Oduber doubled with one out and scored when Maggio laced a ball that looked like it was gone. It hit off the top of the wall in right field, however. Oduber scored, but Maggio had spent too much time watching the ball out of the batter’s box and he was thrown out heading into second.
Kinman continued to silence the Saints bats as he allowed two walks in the fourth, but those were the only other base runners to reach through five. In the sixth, St. Paul would get a leadoff walk from Max Murphy. Two batters later, Burt Reynolds crushed his 11th homer of the season to cut the deficit to two.
It stayed that way until the eighth when the St. Paul Saints would make this a one-run game. Kyle Barrett doubled before Reynolds walked. The two moved up on a double-steal, and Barrett scored on a sacrifice fly by Brady Shoemaker and the score was now 4-3.
The Saints were riding high, but the ninth proved to be a disaster. The first two batters were retired, as Jake Matthys and Ken Frosch combined to retire the first two hitters of the inning, but Andrew Thome came on looking for the final out and Lincoln would rally. Jacobs reached first on a grounder off the glove of the Saints first baseman and then stole second. He scored on a base hit by Brant Whiting. Cesar Valera followed with a triple that brought Whiting around to score to extend the lead to 6-3.
In the ninth, Jose Jose came on for Lincoln looking to close it out. He would give up a one-out walk, but induced a double-play for his sixth save.
Kyle Kinman (4-1) earned the victory. The lefty went 6-innings, allowing 3-hits and 2-walks. He walked 4 and struck out 2. Brandon Jacobs was 2-4 with a run and 2-RBI. Randolph Oduber was 2-4 with 2-runs.
The St. Paul Saints will welcome the Cleburne Railroaders to town to begin a three-game series on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier