SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Griffin Conine turned in his latest dominant offensive performance with a two-HR, five-RBI night, Joey Pulido posted four scoreless innings of relief, and the Lansing Lugnuts (29-34) scored nine unanswered runs to seize the opening game of a four-game series at Four Winds Field, 11-7, over the South Bend Cubs (33-30) on Tuesday night.
The Lugnuts improved to 5-3 on their 11-game, 10-day road trip, with only Wednesday's doubleheader and Thursday's series finale remaining.
Chicago Cubs No. 4 prospect Cole Roederer drilled a two-run double in a three-run third inning, helping the Cubs take a 5-2 lead against starter Troy Miller .
The next nine runs all belonged to the Lugnuts.
Conine's fifth home run of the year, a two-run blast to right off South Bend starter Faustino Carrera, brought the Nuts within 5-4 in the fifth inning.
The Cubs pulled Carrera after six innings in favor of All-Star reliever Jeff Passantino (Loss, 2-1) - and the floodgates opened. Reggie Pruitt led off with his league-leading sixth triple and Nick Podkul singled him in to tie the score at 5-5. Conine followed with a thunderous 430-foot homer over the batter's eye in center for a 7-5 lead. Ryan Gold doubled, completing the four-batter cycle, and then Midwest League Player of the Week Hagen Danner slugged his own two-run homer to left, his ninth home run of the year and fifth longball of the road trip, for a stunning 9-5 lead.
The Lugnuts added two unearned runs in the eighth against reliever Sean Barry before they were quieted by infielder Rafael Narea in a 1-2-3 ninth.
On the other side, it was Pulido (Win, 2-2) who carried the load. The former Houston Cougar took over for Miller (4 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts) to start the fifth inning and proceeded to blank the Cubs through the eighth, striking out five and allowing only three singles.
South Bend scored two runs against Cre Finfrock in the ninth to close out the scoring.
Conine finished the game 4-for-5 with three runs scored, a double, two homers, and five RBIs, lifting his slash line to .438/.481/1.000. He has 48 total bases in 12 games with the Lugnuts, thanks to 13 extra-base hits.
Leadoff hitter Pruitt also scored three runs, joining Podkul, Gold and Danner with two-hit performances.
Right-handers Sean Wymer (7.57 ERA) and Fitz Stadler (5.56) receive the starting assignments for Wednesday's twinbill, beginning at 5:05 p.m. South Bend counters with All-Star right-hander Riley Thompson (2.39) and spot-starting lefty Jack Patterson (3.07).
Lansing returns to Michigan's state capital for a three-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods from June 14-16, including Star Wars Night with post-game LAFCU Fireworks on Saturday, July 15th. To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets to Sunday or throughout the 2019 season, 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.