The Lincoln Saltdogs have found a solid arm in their starting rotation in a critical time of the season.
John Richy's eight-inning outing Thursday was the longest for a Lincoln starter this season as the Saltdogs earned a 4-0 road win against Fargo-Moorhead.
The UNLV grad has earned the win in his last three starts and Lincoln has been victorious in his last four outings. Richy has made 13 starts this season.
“I'm just trying to make good pitches, really,” Richy said. “Trusting the defense behind me and trying not to do too much. If you make good pitches and execute them, you get good hitters out.”
Richy's ERA has dropped from 10.39 at the start of the season to 5.57 after Thursday.
Entering Friday, Lincoln is 3½ games back of Cleburne and Sioux City for a playoff spot in the American Association South Division.
The Saltdogs also will finish the season with 26 of their final 36 regular-season games at Haymarket Park.
“It's huge; it's exactly what we needed,” Richy said. “Baseball is a very momentum-driven sport. Once you get it rolling, it's hard to stop it.”
Lincoln is in its hottest offensive stretch of the season. Over their last 10 games, the Saltdogs have a .325 batting average, 14 home runs and 66 runs.
That said, the defensive side of the ball is garnering attention.
Justin Byrd made the "SportsCenter" Top 10 plays for a second time this season with a leaping grab in left field against the RedHawks on Thursday.
“I love that, and I'll take as many of those as I can get,” Richy said. “I was definitely holding my breath. To see him come up with that play was amazing. He's great out there.”
Seven men out: The Saltdogs' roster continues to toss and turn with many players filling nontraditional roles due to health and safety concerns. Lincoln will be without seven players in Friday's contest against Winnipeg and have signed four players since July 20. More players are expected to be signed ahead of Friday's game. Josh Altmann returns to the lineup for the first time since July 18.
Vidal signs: David Vidal is 16-for-40 (.400) with three home runs and seven RBIs over his last 10 games. In Vidal's last five games he is 11-for-19 (.579) with three home runs and five RBIs.