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SIOUX CITY – Turning six double plays to tie an American Association record was a decent feather in their cap.

However, it was one more double play that didn’t get turned that wound up allowing the Lincoln Saltdogs to score all but one of its runs in a 4-3 victory Saturday night over the Sioux City Explorers.

“Too bad we didn’t turn one more,’’ said Sioux City Manager Steve Montgomery, whose team lost for the second straight night since a 6-0 triumph in Thursday night’s season opener. “We would’ve won that game. It is what it is.’’

X’s starting pitcher Zach Jemiola struggled with his control, but all but one of four runs Jemiola surrendered in the top of the fifth inning wouldn’t have happened if third baseman Jose Sermo hadn’t booted what looked like a routine, inning-ending twin killing.

Worse yet, after clawing their way back from that disheartening 4-0 deficit, the Explorers had the tying run at third base with one out in the bottom of the ninth when Lincoln turned its only double play of the night to secure the win.

Jemiola, a Sioux City newcomer, surrendered six walks without making it through the fifth inning, but Sermo’s second error of the game and his third in the season’s first three contests was the most costly development of the night at Lewis and Clark Park.

Two base hits and a hit batsman got the Saltdogs on the board with one out in the fifth. Then, after a walk to red-hot Tyler Moore loaded the bases, Sermo mishandled Curt Smith’s grounder on a ball that very likely could have ended the rally.

Instead, one run scored and then two more came across when former UCLA star Cody Regis stroked a base hit through the right side.

That was all the offense for the visitors, who were blanked over the final 4 2/3 innings by Sioux City relievers Anthony Bender, Jose Velez, Jr., and Tyler Fallwell.

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Meanwhile, the X’s finally got on the board in seventh inning, loading the bases with two walks and a single by Michael Lang. Sermo followed with a two-run single – just the second hit in 12 at-bats thus far for the 2018 league MVP who went 1-for-17 in the playoffs last September.

The X’s wasted Nelson Ward’s one-out double in the eighth inning, but a ninth-inning uprising looked like it would almost surely tie things up and possibly turn the tide. After Lang was hit by a pitch, leading off the inning against closer Colby Blueberg, Nate Samson’s double into the left-field corner – the third hit of the night for last year’s league batting champ -- made it a 4-3 game.

One out later, Samson moved to third on a wild pitch that prompted Lincoln to issue an intentional walk to Dean Green.

The strategy worked perfectly for the Saltdogs, who got Dylan Kelly to bounce into a game-ending double play.

“We’re not swinging the bats early in the game,’’ said Montgomery. “We’re not doing anything off their starters. We’ve gotta put pressure on them earlier in the game. If we don’t, we put pressure on (our) starters and they try to be too fine. We can’t wait till the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth innings to all of a sudden have good at-bats.’’

The six twin killings by the Sioux City defense equaled a league record set in 2014 by the Kansas City T-Bones.

Ironically, they came one year to the day from a game in which Lincoln hit into five double plays against the Explorers, a team record for the Dogs until this one.

The Explorers’ 1-2 record heading into a Sunday afternoon series finale marked the first time they have dipped under the .500 mark since the end of the 2017 season.

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