Lake Elsinore, CA - The Lake Elsinore Storm continued their winning ways Tuesday night, defeating the Inland Empire 66ers 6-3 in the first of a three-game series.
Inland Empire struck first, scoring a run in the opening frame off of Storm starter Zach Eflin (W, 6-5). The right hander from Chuluota, Florida went on to allow three runs on four hits over five innings of work to get his first victory since the end of May.
Lake Elsinore tied it in the bottom of the first. Diego Goris reached on a single and scored after Gabriel Quintana laced his twenty-first double of the season.
Two Storm runs in the bottom of the second put the Eyes in front. Benji Gonzalez singled, and Jeremy Rodriguez and Mallex Smith worked back-to-back walks to load the bases. Alberth Martinez plated Gonzalez with a sacrifice fly and Rodriguez scored on an IE error to give Lake Elsinore a 3-1 lead.
A two-run fourth for the 66ers tied the game at three, but Martinez knocked his eighth home run of the season in the fifth to give the Storm a 3-2 lead.
The blast turned out to be the eventual winning run, as the Lake Elsinore bullpen continued their dominance over California League opponents. Chris Nunn and Brandon Alger (S, 6) held the 66ers scoreless over four innings of work.
A two-run shot from Quintana in the eighth gave the Storm an extra cushion, and the 6-3 result held in Lake Elsinore's third consecutive win.
The series continues tomorrow as Colin Rea (5-5, 3.62 ERA) takes the hill for the Storm (47-35). Inland Empire (26-56) will feature Raymond Hanson (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05pm.