(Lansing, MI) - Thursday was not a marquee day for Brady Aiken and the Lake County Captains (3-5). Aiken walked seven batters over 4.2 innings in his second start with Lake County and the Captains fell to the Lansing Lugnuts (6-2) at Cooley Law School Stadium, 5-0.
For all of his walks, Aiken managed to limit the Lugnuts to just two runs in the series opener. The lefty worked around a leadoff walk in the first inning by inducing a double play and he got around two big jams in the third and the fourth. Aiken walked a pair with two outs in the third and held Lansing scoreless. In the fourth, the southpaw walked three men, but left the bases loaded. None of the seven Lugnuts who drew walks against Aiken came around to score.
The Lugnuts got their runs against the Captains' starter in the second and fifth. After a leadoff walk to Christian Williams and a single by Bradley Jones started the second, Aiken got a line-drive double play to erase the runner on second base. Michael De La Cruz then roped a double to left that scored Jones all the way from first.
In the fifth, Bo Bichette singled to start the frame and scored with two outs on a sharp single to center by Jones. The hit gave Lansing a 2-0 lead and knocked Aiken out of the ballgame. Justin Garza came in from the bullpen and recorded the final out of the fifth, but the Aiken (0-2) left the game with the Captains trailing and ultimately suffered the loss. He went 4.2 innings and allowed two runs on four hits, walked a career-high seven batters and struck out one.
The Lugnuts tacked on insurance in the sixth and eighth against Garza. Jake Thomas began the sixth with a walk and later scored on a bloop single by Bichette that plopped down the right field line. After a two-out walk to Yeltsin Gudino in the eighth, Edward Olivares hit a two-run homer to left to jump Lansing to a 5-0 advantage.
The Captains had opportunities to cross the plate, but left runners stranded each time. Lake County left a pair in scoring position in the first, a runner on second in the third, runners on second and third in the fifth and runners on first and second in the seventh. The Captains also ran themselves out of the second when Luke Wakamatsu was thrown out trying to steal third to end the frame.
Lugnuts starter Patrick Murphy held the Captains' bats in check over six innings and earned the win. Murphy (1-0) gave up just four hits, walked three and struck out two in the winning effort. A trio of Lugnuts relievers - Geno Encina, Jackson McClelland and Kirby Snead - combined to shut the Captains out over the final three innings. Each reliever pitched one inning of scoreless baseball to nail down the win for the Lugnuts.
The Captains have lost two straight and try to get back in the win column on Friday night against the Lugnuts. First pitch at Cooley Law School Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
Individual game tickets for all Captains games are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Full season tickets plans, 12-, 20-, and 35-game mini ticket plans for the 2017 season are on sale now at great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.