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Down early, Nuts rock Fort Wayne's world

(Miguel Arcaute)
August 20, 2018

LANSING, Mich. - Trailing 4-1 early against MLB Pipeline's top rated left-handed pitching prospect, MacKenzie Gore, the Lansing Lugnuts (32-25, 75-52) used homers and sacrifice flies to score four unanswered runs for a 5-4 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (27-28, 59-65) on Monday afternoon at Cooley Law School Stadium.The Lugnuts

LANSING, Mich. - Trailing 4-1 early against MLB Pipeline's top rated left-handed pitching prospect, MacKenzie Gore, the Lansing Lugnuts (32-25, 75-52) used homers and sacrifice flies to score four unanswered runs for a 5-4 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (27-28, 59-65) on Monday afternoon at Cooley Law School Stadium.

The Lugnuts won two of three games in the series, improving to 6-1-1 in their last eight series.

Gore, the third overall pick in the 2017 draft, entered the bottom of the third inning having allowed only three home runs in 252 batters - but Samad Taylor and Chavez Young launched back-to-back home runs to narrow the deficit to 4-3. It was the first time the Lugnuts had hit back-to-back home runs since Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. achieved the feat on June 28th, 2017.

Andres Sotillo opened the bottom of the fourth inning with a double, moving to third on one of Gore's four wild pitches and scoring the game-tying run on a Jesus Navarro sacrifice fly.

The Lugnuts followed the same formula in the fifth. Young led off against reliever Evan Miller (Loss, 4-5) with an automatic double to left. Three batters later, Brandon Grudzielanek delivered a sacrifice fly, giving the Nuts a 5-4 lead.

Nuts starter Maximo Castillo (Win, 10-5) gave up five hits and four runs in a six-batter span in the second inning. The 19-year-old was strong otherwise, giving up only one other hit, not issuing a walk, and racking up seven strikeouts, including the last four batters he faced
. Castillo became just the fourth Midwest League pitcher to reach ten wins.

His bullpen handled the rest: Matt Shannon gave up two hits in three scoreless innings, striking out one, and Dany Jimenez (Save, 12) gave up a leadoff triple in the ninth to Jack Suwinski before locking the game down with a pop up to shallow center and two straight strikeouts.


Young finished the game 2-for-3 with two steals, two runs scored, a walk, a double and his eighth home run of the year. Bryan Lizardo added a single, double and walk in four plate appearances.

The Lugnuts head on the road next, opening a three-game series Tuesday at Bowling Green followed by a four-game series at Dayton. The Nuts' next home game will be at 7:05 p.m. on a Winning Wednesday, August 29th, against the Great Lakes Loons, starting a three-game series. To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life at Cooley Law School Stadium, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.

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