Midland, MI - After back-to-back shutouts in the first two games of the series gave the Clinton LumberKings (10-17, 40-55) their first series win in six weeks, they failed to capitalize on an early 2-0 lead and pick up their first series sweep since the middle of May, as the Great Lakes Loons (12-15, 46-51) salvaged the final game of the series with a 5-2 victory.
With 5-0 shutouts in each of the first two games vs. the Loons, the LumberKings jumped out to a 2-0 lead with runs in both the third and fourth. Aaron Barbosa had his first of two hits on the night, an RBI single that scored Isaiah Yates. Barbosa finished the series 7-11, reached base 10 times, and extended his hitting streak to five games. Clinton scored an unearned run off of starter Jonathan Martinez, who picked up a no-decision, in the fourth. After walks drawn by Chantz Mack and Jeff Zimmerman put men on first and second with two outs, Jesmuel Valentin could not field Christian Carmichael's ground ball, as Mack scored on the error.
Martinez and LumberKings starter Eddie Campbell both allowed two runs in their start, and neither factored in the final. Campbell allowed both runs in a two-run fifth for Great Lakes, as the Loons snapped a 23 inning scoreless drought in the series. Campbell walked Webster Rivas to start the inning, and he later scored on Valentin's RBI single to left field. After Valentin stole his 19th base of the season and Campbell walked Alex Santana, the pair pulled off a successful double steal of second and home to tie the game at two.
Campbell left after five innings, one fewer than Martinez, and the bullpen battle went to Great Lakes. The Loons scored two runs off of Kevin McCoy (0-2) in the seventh. The righty walked Jacob Scavuzzo to begin the inning and retired the next two before he ran into trouble. A wild pitch let Scavuzzo get to third before McCoy hit Alex Santana. Joey Curletta picked up an RBI double to Chantz Mack in left, as Scavuzzo scored the go-ahead and eventual game winning run. Nick Valenza replaced McCoy, but gave up an RBI single off the third base bag to Paul Hoenecke. The Loons added an insurance run in the eighth and led 5-2.
The LumberKings did nothing against the bullpen combination of Michael Johnson (2-2) and Victor Araujo (SV, 5), as the pair threw three perfect innings to give the Loons the victory. The win snapped a six game losing streak for Great Lakes and a three game winning streak for Clinton. Barbosa had his third consecutive multi-hit game and brought his average up to .315 in the loss.
The LumberKings will head to Lansing for three games with the Lugnuts Saturday through Monday. The series begins at Cooley Law School Stadium Saturday night at 6:05, and a pair of day games Sunday (1:05) and Monday (11:05) concludes the eastern division trip. All three LumberKings broadcasts can be heard on WCCI 100.3 FM, WCCIRadio.com, and LumberKings.com.