After the Sky Sox had lost seven games by two runs or less in the past 14 days, it was apparent it was going to take a spectacular performance to squash the routine.
Saturday, they got two.
On a Star Trek-themed night at Security Service Field, starting pitcher Sean Gallagher put the Sox on his back, giving up one run through 71/3 innings, and Kent Matthes propelled them to the 3-1 win over Sacramento with his go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Gallagher (2-2) allowed four hits while striking out four and walking one.
"He had every hitter where he wanted them," catcher Jose Gonzalez said. "His control was terrific - and then he fooled them with his secondary pitches. It was easy in my position."
Gallagher tried to relax.
"I just slowed things down these past couple of starts. Slowed it way down," said Gallagher, who has won his past two starts. "It helps my mechanics and it just keeps me focused on my game plan. It feels good to help. I feel like we are doing some good things now."
Xavier Nady belted his third home run to give the Sky Sox a 1-0 lead in the second.
In the sixth, Matthes hit a two-run shot with two outs to give the Sky Sox the commanding lead.
And this time, with a fitting fireworks display afterward, it was a close game that ended with a 'W.'
"It's been a long, strange and weird year," said Gallagher on the Sky Sox's last Saturday home game of the year. "I'll learn from it. I think we all have learned a lot. And as a team of late, we've been really getting after it.
"It's been awesome."
The Sky Sox (64-68) host the River Cats (74-61) in the fourth game of the series at 1:35 p.m. Sunday.