Curt Smith had a different look in his eyes Tuesday at Haymarket Park.
The Lincoln Saltdogs had a scoreless streak of 21 innings before Smith scored in the bottom of the second inning. He had five RBIs and scored three times in front of 2,243 fans as the Saltdogs routed Winnipeg 9-2 in a series-opening victory.
“I was a little more aggressive and selective at the same time,” Smith said. “I knew we were struggling scoring runs and I was a part of that. I left some runners on base in the previous games.
“I took it very personal to drive runners in, and I'm glad I could help the team out today.”
Nick Schulz lifted the weight off Lincoln's shoulders with a two-out RBI double that scored Smith to tie the game 1-1. Following a Randolph Oduber RBI in the third, Smith put the Saltdogs in a scoring frenzy with a three-run blast to push the lead to 5-1. The Willemsted, Curacao, native added a two-RBI double in the fifth and finished 2-for-3. He is 5-for-7 in his last two games.
“As much as you don't want to think about and forget about it, it's there,” Smith said about the scoreless streak. It happened and we had to make an adjustment. I'm glad to see we did today.”
Another Willemsted native, Shairon Martis, had an interesting night on the mound, holding the Goldeyes hitless for 6 2/3 innings.
Winnipeg took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Martis hit American Association veteran Reggie Abercrombie with a pitch with one out. Abercrombie stole second and advanced to third on catcher Tyler Moore's throwing error. The Goldeye outfielder then scored on a sacrifice fly.
Martis allowed seven base runners on two hit batters, three walks and an error, including Winnipeg's first hit in the top of the seventh that ended the no-hit bid and Martis' night. He struck out six.
“(Sharion) is a veteran pitcher that knows how this league is,” Lincoln manager Bobby Brown said. “When you lose a couple games, you want your veteran to be the stopper, and he was the stopper tonight — he was outstanding.”
Newly acquired infielder Josh Mazzola singled in the second inning for his 700th career regular-season hit. Mazzola has a hit in all three games since joining Lincoln on Saturday.
The Saltdogs and Goldeyes continue the series Wednesday at 7 p.m.