LINCOLN, Neb. -- All good things must come to an end, and so the Winnipeg Goldeyes' record-breaking win streak did on Saturday night in Lincoln's Haymarket Park.
Not much went right for the Fish in their ninth tilt of the season: Outfielder Tim Smith's second-inning homer was the lone bright spot. That tally, which put the Goldeyes up 1-0, drew some groans from a Nebraska crowd worried their team would see a third consecutive rout.
They needn't have fretted. It was all downhill for the Fish from there. The batters couldn't get much going -- only Smith, catcher Luis Alen and Josh Mazzola would register a hit -- while the pitching staff, led by Peter Gehle, gave seven batters free passes to first base.
Pitchers face the bat of Saltdog Ian Gac at their own peril: The infielder hit a home run in his second appearance at the plate. He finished the night with two singles in two more at-bats, the second of which sent in the Dogs' fourth run.
Saltdogs southpaw Matt Bywater redeemed himself after a disastrous first outing with a solid show on the mound. He gave up only three hits and one run in seven innings.
óó KEY PLAY
The seventh inning was the key to the Goldeyes' undoing. Going into the bottom of the frame, the game was only 2-1 in the Saltdogs favour. But after striking out the first Saltdogs batter, rookie pitcher Wes Alsup walked two in a row. He got yanked for Allen Caldwell, who immediately loaded the bases by walking outfielder Stephen Douglas. All the Saltdogs' David Espinosa and Gac had to do was crack a single each to put their team up 4-1, and make the game look mighty out of reach.
óó FISH WRAP
Either a misplaced furry friend, or a furry omen: In the opening minutes of the game, a grey dog raced into the outfield. It frolicked for awhile, tongue lolling, until one of the Goldeyes lured it into the bullpen.
óó ON THE HOOK
The Goldeyes finish their marathon 16-day road trip with a Sunday matinee in Lincoln before rushing home to open the Shaw Park season at 7 p.m. on Monday night. Matt Rusch -- who has two wins already this season -- will get the start before the hometown crowd.