COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. - Samad Taylor scored the tie-breaking run via a sequence of errors and Norberto Obeso threw out Brady Policelli at second base to bring a dramatic finish to the Lansing Lugnuts' (30-23, 73-50) 3-2 victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps (25-27, 61-61) on Friday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Lugnuts have won nine of their last 12 games, though the low-scoring result ended a streak of six straight games scoring at least six runs.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the eighth, Whitecaps reliever Johan Belisario (Loss, 2-1) struck out Jesus Navarro and Freddy Rodriguez . Taylor followed with a bounding ball down the third-base line that glanced off the glove of Colby Bortles. Bortles grabbed for it and threw wildly over the head of first baseman Jordan Pearce, landing Taylor at second. With Obeso at the plate, Taylor notched his 41st steal of the year, moving up to third base. Obeso then sent a grounder up the middle that was mishandled by shortstop Luke Sherley as Taylor scored.
Lansing starter Graham Spraker (Win, 4-2) tied a career high with seven innings, giving up only two runs - a home run by Policelli leading off the first inning, and an RBI single by Kody Clemens in the fifth.
Dany Jimenez (Save, 11) relieved Spraker for the final six outs, stranding runners at second and third to end the eighth, and then setting down the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth. Policelli seemed to keep hope alive for the Whitecaps with a line drive down the left-field line, but Obeso's throw to second was perfect, allowing Taylor to greet the sliding Whitecap with a tag for the game's final out.
Brandon Grudzielanek went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI single to lead the Lugnuts' offense, while Taylor finished the game with a pair of walks.
The Nuts and 'Caps have split the first 12 games of their season series, leaving one more regular-season contest. Right-hander Kyle Weatherly (3.41 ERA) duels with West Michigan right-hander Wilkel Hernandez (5.93) at 7:05 p.m. Friday.
The next Lansing home game is Backyard Baseball Night powered by MI Student Aid on Saturday, August 18th, with the first 1,000 fans receiving a bobblehead of the GOAT, Pablo Sanchez, as the Lansing Mighty Wombats challenge the Fort Wayne TinCaps! 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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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.