EASTLAKE, OH - Rafael Lantigua lined a two-run triple and Gabriel Moreno homered in a five-run eighth inning, helping the Lansing Lugnuts (28-32) break open a tight game for a 9-3 victory over the Lake County Captains (35-26) on Saturday night at Classic Park.
The Lugnuts have won the first two games of the four-game series in Lake County, improving to 4-1 on their 11-game, 10-day road trip. The offense has not scored fewer than five runs in any game of the trip.
The Nuts shortened the night for Lake County starter Alex Royalty (Loss, 1-4), drawing five walks, collecting three hits and scoring four runs (two earned) in 3 1/3 innings against the right-hander.
Lake County drew within 4-3 on a two-run homer by Miguel Jerez in the second inning and a sacrifice fly by Bo Naylor in the sixth inning - before the Lugnuts cracked the game wide open.
Facing All-Star reliever Manuel Alvarez, Nick Podkul drew a four-pitch walk and Hagen Danner singled him to second. With the Captains' corner infielders expecting a sacrifice bunt, Lantigua instead sent a line drive down the right-field line for his third triple of the year and a 6-3 lead. Hunter Steinmetz singled home Lantigua to increase the lead to four runs, and then came around to score when pitcher Alvarez committed a throwing error on a Reggie Pruitt comebacker, though Pruitt was thrown out at third base. Moreno then capped off the rally with his fifth home run of the year, catapulting a high fastball into the left-field bleachers.
Lugnuts starter Cobi Johnson worked 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision, striking out three, allowing four hits and four walks, and giving up only Jerez's homer. Joe Pulido (Win, 1-2) followed with 2 1/3 innings, allowing one run, in his first appearance for the Nuts since May 18th.
Fitz Stadler pitched the final two innings, allowing one hit and two walks, and recording the final four outs of the game via strikeout.
In the win, Moreno reached base five times, thanks to a single, homer, hit-by-pitch and two walks, scoring two runs. Steinmetz and Podkul also scored two runs.
With the Lugnuts looking for a fourth straight win and a series victory, All-Star right-hander Josh Winckowski (1.90 ERA) starts the third game of the series at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday against Captains right-hander Luis Oviedo (4.15).
Lansing returns to Michigan's state capital for a three-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods from June 14-16, including Star Wars Night with post-game LAFCU Fireworks on Saturday, July 15th. To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets to Sunday or throughout the 2019 season, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.