CLINTON, Iowa - A quality start from Pierce Johnson was nullified by the offense for the Kane County Cougars as they fell in their second straight contest, losing to the Clinton LumberKings, 4-0, on Monday afternoon at Ashford University Field.
Johnson (1-3) surrendered seven hits over his six innings of work, yielding three earned runs while fanning six. Clinton (17-18) broke through against Johnson in the bottom of the third when Ketel Marte led off with a single and scored on a two-bagger off the bat of Dario Pizzano. Pizzano came across the plate when Guillermo Pimentel smashed a two-run homer to put the LumberKings up by three.
One more tally came home for the LumberKings in the bottom of the fifth. Tim Lopes singled with one out and advanced to second when Pizzano reached on an error by shortstop David Bote. Two batters later, Patrick Kivlehan singled up the middle off Johnson's glove to bring in Lopes, giving the LumberKings a 4-0 cushion.
Tyler Pike (2-3) tossed the first five frames for the LumberKings and coughed up only three hits. The only real threat for the Cougars came in the fifth after Pike walked David Bote with two away and allowed a double to Yaniel Cabezas, but Oliver Zapata popped out to second, ending the inning.
David Holman worked the next three frames out of the Clinton bullpen while Oliver Garcia closed it in the ninth despite loading the bases. Jeff Antigua fanned five of the six batters he faced in his two innings of relief, following Johnson.
The Cougars return to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Tuesday night to open a four-game series against the Peoria Chiefs with a 6:30 first pitch. Right-hander Ian Dickson will start for the Cougars against southpaw Hector Hernandez. For tickets, please call (630) 232-8811 or visit www.kccougars.com.