LANSING, Mich. - Ryan Noda launched his 20th home run of the year, Jordan Barrett tossed six scoreless innings, and the Lansing Lugnuts (37-29, 80-56) romped past the Great Lakes Loons (34-32, 58-76), 10-2, on Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.The Lugs reached 80 wins for only the second time
LANSING, Mich. - Ryan Noda launched his 20th home run of the year, Jordan Barrett tossed six scoreless innings, and the Lansing Lugnuts (37-29, 80-56) romped past the Great Lakes Loons (34-32, 58-76), 10-2, on Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The Lugs reached 80 wins for only the second time in the 23-year history of the franchise, joining the 82-55 powerhouse Lugnuts of 2012 starring Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony DeSclafani and Midwest League MVP Kevin Pillar.
After knocking an RBI triple and his 19th home run of the season in the series opener, Noda wasted no time impacting the second game of the three-game series. Following a two-out Chavez Young triple in the first inning, the right fielder sent an Alfredo Tavarez (Loss, 3-6) pitch towering down the left field line for a quick 2-0 Lugnuts lead. The roundtripper not only tied Noda with Bowling Green's Ronaldo Hernandez for the league home run lead, it made him the first Lugnut since Johermyn Chavez in 2009 to reach the 20-homer plateau.
The Lugnuts added two runs against Tavarez in the second inning, tacked on a Young sacrifice fly in the fourth for a 5-0 lead, and then blew the game wide open with a five-run seventh against reliever Jasiel Alvino, including a Freddy Rodriguez three-run triple.
Meanwhile, Barrett (Win, 4-2) frustrated the Loons' offense, stranding a runner in each of the first four innings, pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth - with the help of center fielder Reggie Pruitt throwing out Gersel Pitre at home plate - and enjoying his only 1-2-3 inning in his final frame, closing the sixth with a flourish. In all, the 6-foot-4 left-hander gave up six hits, walked one and struck out four.
The Loons finally broke through in the eighth inning with two runs against relievers Emerson Jimenez and Dalton Rodriguez before Rodriguez struck out Deacon Liput with runners at second and third.
Rodriguez then pitched around a single and a walk in the ninth, wrapping up the Lugnuts' fourth straight win.
The Nuts improved to 11-3 against the Loons in 2018.
The Lugnuts go for the three-game sweep, closing out their regular-season home schedule, on Fan Appreciation Day / Lugnut Charities Night presented by Dan Henry Distributing at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Right-hander Maximo Castillo (4.63 ERA) takes on Loons right-hander Gerardo Carrillo (1.43) in a matchup of 19-year-olds. 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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