Tempers were heated and the Sioux City bats were as hot as Friday's temperature at Haymarket Park in a 13-8 victory over the Saltdogs.
Lincoln tied a season high with their fourth consecutive loss.
Sioux City manager Steve Montgomery was ejected in the bottom of the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes, but the Explorers' offense had already done enough damage — totaling 13 runs in the first five innings in Friday's heat. The temperature was 96 degrees but felt like 107 at Haymarket Park at first pitch.
The Explorers led 13-1 before Lincoln made the score respectable with seven runs over the final four innings.
“We just have to keep doing what we are doing,” Lincoln veteran Randolph Oduber said. “Keep playing hard, never give up and play all nine innings.”
Oduber showed some fight in the bottom of the ninth with his sixth home run for Lincoln's final run.
The Saltdogs' offense started cold. Cody Regis' two-run homer in the sixth was just Lincoln's second hit. The Saltdogs finished with eight hits, seven coming in the final four innings.
Regis' home run was his fifth in the last seven games and his team-leading 11th of the season.
“I've just been seeing it well, and fortunately I've been getting good pitches to hit,” Regis said. “When I'm getting those pitches, I've been putting good swings on it and haven't been missing.”
The Explorers were red-hot early. Tied 1-1 after two innings, Sioux City scored three runs apiece in the top of the third and fourth innings before exploding for six runs in the fifth.
Dylan Kelly had a two-RBI single before Jose Sermo hit a monstrous grand slam to complete the six-run fifth and give Sioux City the 13-1 lead.
Oduber and the Saltdogs are still positive and look to continue their late momentum into Saturday.
“The way you react to it is big,” Oduber said of the recent tough stretch. “We have to keep on going.”
Shairon Martis started fast with two quick strikeouts in the top of the first before allowing 10 runs on 10 hits and issing five walks over four innings of work. Martis, now 1-3, allowed the most runs by a Saltdogs pitcher this season.
The two teams continue the series Saturday at 7 p.m. Lincoln Pius X graduate and current Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein will throw out the first pitch.