A win is good any day of the week, but the Lincoln Saltdogs had the advantage of needing only six innings to get the victory Wednesday in a 3-1 outcome over Salina at Haymarket Park.
The game was delayed due to thunderstorms in the middle of the sixth inning and was called about 45 minutes later.
Lincoln started to gain momentum just before the rain rolled in. Salina grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Cody Coffman scored on a wild pitch.
The Saltdogs managed only one hit in the first three innings, but cranked up the power right when they needed it. In the fourth inning, Curt Smith led off with a home run to right field to tie the game at 1-1.
Not to be outdone, Brandon Jacobs followed it up when he pulled a homer past the left-field foul pole to give the Saltdogs the lead. The blast was Jacobs’ eighth of the season.
“Those are our two big bats that pretty much carried us the second half of last year and we’re looking for them to do the same thing again in the second half this year,” Lincoln manager Bobby Brown said of Smith and Jacobs.
Joe Robbins scored from first on a double by Ivan Marin to make it 3-1 before Salina got out of the inning.
Lincoln starter Brian McAfee registered a complete game despite only pitching six innings. The right-hander, who the Saltdogs signed on June 30 after a stint with the Tampa Bay Rays’ Single-A team, scattered six hits in his third start for Lincoln.
“The kid’s got a really good arm,” Brown said of McAfee. “He had some rib problems with Tampa and got healthy. We’re really happy to have him here and we’re really happy to help him progress back to a major league organization.”
McAfee is sporting a 2.50 earned-run average in his three appearances.
“McAfee was fighting his command a little bit early," Brown said. "Their pitcher threw pretty good for three innings and he left a couple balls up and we hit them over the fence. We’re kind of fortunate to get out of there with a win and we’ll take it.”
The win against Salina (6-45) clinched Lincoln’s first series win since June 19-21 against Winnipeg. The Saltdogs moved to 29-21 and remain one game behind Kansas City in the American Association Central Division.
Lincoln will wrap up its three-game series against the Stockade on Thursday at Haymarket Park at 6:45 p.m.
Salina announced Wednesday that outfielder Jimmy Heck will be out of the lineup for the next few days, but will return soon after he crashed hard into the wall during Tuesday's game at Haymarket Park.
Heck tried to make a play on a ball hit by Lincoln's Robbins. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to a hospital.