GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 4, 2018) - With the game tied in the bottom of the seventh, Garvis Lara's leadoff triple set the stage for the go-ahead run in the Grasshoppers' 4-3 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws in front of a season-high 9,063 fans at First National Bank Field. Greensboro (41-41, 7-6 Second Half) overcame a pair of Lakewood home runs to secure the Independence Day victory in the series opener.
Daniel Castano (2-0) worked around one rough inning to earn the win in a 7.0-inning outing, striking out seven and walking none. Michael Mertz tossed a perfect eighth, setting up Vincenzo Aiello's 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save (6).
In the bottom of the seventh with the game even, 3-3, Lara's triple rattled around the right field corner. Thomas Jones followed with a sacrifice fly to left field, and Lara slid head-first across the plate just under the tag of catcher Colby Fitch for what proved to be the winning run.
Greensboro took the game's first lead with a 3-run fifth inning, jump-started by Micah Brown's lead-off home run (6). Harrison Dinicola followed with a double to center field, and Michael Hernandez walked behind him. Lara laid down a sacrifice-bunt to move both men into scoring position. Dinicola sprinted home on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead, and Jose Devers added an RBI-single to cap the frame.
All three runs Castano allowed came in the sixth when he surrendered back-to-back home runs to Lakewood's Jake Scheiner, a 2-run shot, and Jhailyn Ortiz for the BlueClaws' only runs of the night.
BlueClaws reliever Ismael Cabrera (0-1) took the loss, allowing a run on one run while walking three and striking out two over 2.0 innings.
The Hoppers continue this 3-game home stand on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. against the BlueClaws, and tickets are available online at gsohoppers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.