Dogs (45-33, 4th North, 4.5 GB) vs. Saltdogs (35-43, 4th South, 11.5 GB)
Monday, 8/12: LHP Austin Wright (5-6, 4.17 ERA) vs LHP Spencer Hermann (2-1, 7.16 ERA)
Tuesday, 8/13: TBA vs. RHP Brad Thoutt (0-1, 5.79 ERA)
Wednesday, 8/14: LHP D.J. Snelten (5-3, 3.76 ERA) vs. RHP John Brownell (6-4, 3.54 ERA)
SERIES NOTES: Series Notes Aug 12-14 LIN
LINCOLN, Neb. — Powered by some big innings, including a five-run eighth on Friday and a 10-run fourth on Sunday, the Dogs won two of three from the league-leading Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks over the weekend. Chciago kept pace in a crowded top of the North Division, sitting just 1.5 games out of a playoff spot and 4.5 out of first, with 22 games left in the regular season.
Chicago (45-33, 4th North) continued to get elite performances from their starters, including D.J. Snelten’s most productive start of the year, in which he went seven innings, giving up just a single run and striking out a season-high nine batters. Carlos Zambrano started game three for Chicago, lasting three innings and allowing two earned runs.
Offensively, Trey Vavra continued his torrid August (.378 AVG, 1.063 OPS, 11 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K), clubbing his sixth home run of the year, and Kelly Dugan matched a franchise record with seven RBI in the finale against the RedHawks, hitting a three-run homer and a grand slam. The Dogs now travel to Lincoln for their first and last meeting of 2019 with the Saltdogs. All three games will start at 7:05 PM at Haymarket Park.
LHP Austin Wright is slated to start the opener against Lincoln on Monday. The fireball-throwing lefty continued to pile up strikeouts in his most recent start against Milwaukee, fanning eight Milkmen batters while walking two in his second straight quality start. His 97 strikeouts put him in third place in the American Association in that category.
Tuesday’s starter is TBA.
LHP D.J. Snelten will start Wednesday’s finale. Snelten has put together a fantastic run in his last few starts. In his last two starts, he has gone a total of 14 innings against the teams with the two best records in the league — St. Paul and Fargo-Moorhead — surrendering two earned runs, walking three and striking out 14. He has not walked more than two batters in a start since June 20, and his 3.76 ERA is the lowest it has been in over a month.
SCOUTING THE SALTDOGS
The Lincoln Saltdogs (35-43, 4th South) have been mired in mediocrity for the majority of the season, sitting just below .500. Their leading man on offense is infielder Curt Smith, whose .328 batting average is not only the highest on the team, but also 4th in the league. His team-high 56 RBI are also top-six in the Association. Smith, fellow All-Star Cody Regis and Christian Ibarra all have double-digit home runs to muscle production for an offense that is also the only team to have stolen fewer bases than the Dogs at 29 swiped on the year.
All-Star relieve Austin Boyle anchors a Saltdogs pitching staff as the only member to have a sub-3.00 ERA (with qualified number of innings pitched). In 32 appearances, the setup man has a 1.63 ERA and 54 strikeouts and 19 walks in 38.2 IP. Lincoln also sports the third-best defense in the league, with only 56 errors committed in 78 games, good for a .981 fielding percentage.
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