LANSING, Mich. - The Lansing Lugnuts (32-34, 68-68) handed the Bowling Green Hot Rods (43-23, 80-55) a slim loss for the second straight night, 3-2, drawing within a half-game for Eastern Division wild card with four games remaining in the regular season.
The theme of the night: three runs. Lansing scored all of its runs in a three-run third against Hot Rods starter Jose Mujica, while the wild-card-leading Great Lakes Loons lost 5-4 on a game-winning, tenth-inning, three-run double by Fort Wayne's Chris Baker.
Lugnuts starter Ryan Borucki (Win, 10-4) became the third Midwest League pitcher to reach double-digit wins, allowing three of the first four Hot Rods to reach before setting down 14 of the next 15 batters. Borucki finished with three hits and one run allowed in five innings, striking out five and lowering his ERA to 2.41 - second-best in the MWL.
Mujica (Loss, 8-4) lasted only three innings, victimized by an RBI safety-squeeze from Ryan Metzler, an RBI single by Cavan Biggio and a run-scoring wild pitch on a dropped third strike.
The Hot Rods shaved the Lugnuts' lead to one run in the seventh on a Tom Robson run-scoring wild pitch, but came no closer.
Jackson Lowery recorded a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two, and Andrew Case (Save, 10) pitched a perfect ninth inning for the second straight day.
First baseman Juan Kelly walked in all four of his plate appearances, reaching base for a league-leading 32nd straight game. Center fielder Joshua Palacios went 2-for-4 with a single and double, extending his hitting streak to 19 games and his own on-base streak to 32 games.
The Lugnuts go for the three-game sweep in their final regular-season home game, a Fan Appreciation Night featuring an autograph session with the team at 5:45 p.m., first pitch at 7:05 p.m. and postgame LAFCU Fireworks! Right-hander Josh DeGraaf (5-6, 3.24) gets the start against Hot Rods left-hander Michael Velasquez (7-9, 5.05). For more information or to purchase your tickets, call 517-485-4500 or visit lansinglugnuts.com.
# # #
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.