FREDERICK, MD-Li-Jen Chu hit a pair of home runs to lead the Lynchburg Hillcats (36-42, 7-4) to a 7-6 victory over the Frederick Keys (38-43, 3-8) on Sunday afternoon. It was the third home run in two days for Chu, who has doubled his home run total on the year over the past two games.
The Keys got on the board first in the second. Jomar Reyes led off with a double and moved to third on a groundout. He would then score on a fielder's choice off the bat of Jake Ring to make it 1-0 Keys.
In the top of the fourth, Chu hit his first of two home runs. After Ernie Clement collected the first hit for the Hillcats, Chu launched a two-run home run to left field to give the Hillcats a 2-1 lead.
The score remained 2-1 until the sixth. Preston Palmeiro led off the Keys half of the sixth with a home run. It was Palmeiro's 11th long ball of the year, and tied the game at two.
Chu would give the Hillcats the lead again in the seventh. He led off with a solo home run, and he was followed two batters later by a Jodd Carter home run. Lynchburg added three more runs in the eighth. Emmanuel Tapia started the inning with a walk, and Angel Lopez reached on a bunt base hit. Two runs would score on a sacrifice bunt when the throw from Zach Matson went up the right field line. The score moved to 7-2 following a sacrifice fly.
The orange and black responded with four in the bottom of the eighth. Alejandro Juvier singled, and moved to second on a throwing error. He then scored on a Palmeiro single. Wilson Garcia followed with a walk to set up Randolph Gassaway . The Keys left fielder launched a three-run home run to left field that brought the Keys to within a run, but that is as close as they would get.
Firing seven innings and allowing just two runs, Tanner Tully (3-8) earned the win. He scattered seven hits and struck out four. Zac Lowther (3-1) took his first loss in a Keys uniform and his second on the year overall. The left-hander pitched seven innings and allowed our runs on a career-high three home runs allowed. He struck out five and did not walk anybody. James Karinchak picked up his eighth save in 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Frederick and Lynchburg play game three of four on Monday night. Right-hander Cristian Alvarado (7-5, 3.64) makes the start for the Keys. He will be opposed by Hillcats right-hander Eli Morgan (4-2, 2.45). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and the game can be heard on frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.