FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Colton Laws fired five shutout innings for the second straight start and the Lansing Lugnuts (40-24) clinched a first-half Eastern Division playoff berth with a 4-2 victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (28-34) on Monday night at Parkview Field.
It is the Lugnuts' 14th postseason trip in 23 years as a franchise and comes following a two-year hiatus.
The Nuts will face Bowling Green in the first round in September, with home-field advantage still to be determined; the Hot Rods currently lead the Lugnuts by two games for the Eastern Division title.
Laws (Win, 3-2) followed up five three-hit scoreless innings in Bowling Green on June 6th by holding the TinCaps to a pair of fourth-inning singles.
He was nearly matched by Fort Wayne starter Mason Thompson (Loss, 4-4), but Thompson allowed a single to Ryan Noda and a walk to Chavez Young leading off the sixth inning in a scoreless game. Both runners scored against reliever Ben Sheckler - Samad Taylor singled in Noda and Yeltsin Gudino squeezed in Young for a 2-0 Lugnuts lead.
The Nuts increased their lead to 4-0 in the eighth on a Taylor RBI double and a Norberto Obeso RBI single.
Emerson Jimenez followed Laws with three scoreless innings.
The TinCaps spoiled the shutout with two runs in the ninth against Matt Shannon before the Texan right-hander coaxed a game-ending fielder's choice from Jalen Washington with tying runs aboard, sealing the victory.
Second baseman Taylor distinguished himself in the winning effort, finishing 3-for-4 with two singles, a double and two runs batted in.
Six games remain in the first half: a three-game series at Lake County, ending the Lugnuts' season-long 13-game, 14-day road trip, and a three-game homestand with South Bend Cubs.
Live the Lug Life and cheer on the playoff bound Lugnuts against the Cubs! The homestand features Family Faith Night with LAFCU Fireworks on June 15th, Star Wars Night with LAFCU Fireworks on June 16th, and a Father's Day Delta Dental Kids Day with a special Jersey Giveaway on June 17th. To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life, 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.