The Saltdogs had been perfect at Haymarket Park in August.
That mark came to an end Monday as the Saltdogs tread water through the first four innings against Chicago Dogs' starter Austin Wright. Chicago took the series opener 5-4, snapping Lincoln's seven-game home winning streak.
During that seven-game stretch, the Saltdogs trailed just four times, picking up two series sweeps and outscoring opponents 40-18. They also had two shutout victories.
“It's been a lot of fun,” Lincoln manager Bobby Brown said. “We are playing good baseball.”
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound southpaw racked up eight of his 11 strikeouts and allowed just one hit in the first four innings of his six-inning outing. Four of the first seven strikeouts came were of the caught-looking variety as the Saltdogs consistently saw Wright hit 95-97 mph on the radar gun.
The Lincoln bats took a deep breath and caught a second wind in the bottom of the fifth with four runs on five hits and two home runs off Wright.
“Through the second or third time through the lineup, our guys got to see him,” Brown said. “They got a little timing off (Wright) and put some good swing on him.”
After Chicago's Keon Barnum hit a solo blast to extends the Dogs' lead to 2-0 in top of the fifth, Nick Schulz hit his second home run of the season and Christian Ibarra added a three-run blast to give Lincoln a 4-2 lead later in the inning. Lincoln's Josh Mazzola almost hit his third of the season to lead off the fifth but was robbed at the wall by Kelly Dugan.
Chicago rallied in the eighth with three runs to retake a 5-4 lead.
“We put ourselves in a position to win and couldn't quite get the double-play ball when we needed it there in the eighth. That's baseball,” Brown added.
Martire Garcia was charged with an earned run, finishing with 1/3 of an inning in relief, and Austin Pettibone was charged with two, including one on a wild pitch that allowed Chicago to take the go-ahead run.
Lincoln and Chicago continue the series Tuesday at 7 p.m.