Resilient Lugnuts hold the Fort, 5-4

By Jesse Goldberg-Strassler / Lansing Lugnuts | August 5, 2018 7:55 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Andres Sotillo and Chad Spanberger slugged solo home runs, helping the Lansing Lugnuts (23-20, 65-47) edge the Fort Wayne TinCaps (19-23, 51-60), 5-4, on Sunday afternoon at Parkview Field.

The Lugnuts have won the first two games of the three-game series, clinching a series victory for the fourth straight series. It was also the Nuts' ninth win in their last 11 games.

Lugs starter Graham Spraker gave up a Jack Suwinski home run, Gabriel Arias double and Esteury Ruiz home run in a three-batter span in the first inning, giving the TinCaps a 3-1 lead. Spraker (Win, 3-2) settled in from there, shutting out the TinCaps over the next five innings and allowing only one more hit, striking out three.

Meanwhile, his teammates set about scoring four unanswered runs in four separate innings to take the lead.

In the top of the third, Ryan Noda singled home Samad Taylor , trimming the deficit to 3-2 lead.

In the fifth, Sotillo, added to the roster on Saturday from A-Adv. Dunedin and making his first Lugnuts appearance since June 24th, crushed a 428-foot home run off The Harrison building in left to tie the score at 3-3. In the process, he became just the sixth player in Parkview Field history to hit The Harrison.

In the seventh, the Nuts took the lead for good against reliever Austin Smith (Loss, 1-1) with the opposite of Sotillo's drive - a swinging bunt of an RBI single for Taylor, knocking home Vinny Capra for a 4-3 lead.

In the eighth, Spanberger added important insurance with a blast to right-center, his second home run with the Lugnuts and his 24th of the year.

Suwinski struck again for Fort Wayne in the eighth with an RBI double, but that was the only tally the TinCaps could manage in three innings against reliever Matt Shannon (Save, 6).

Taylor led the Nuts' offense, going 2-for-4 with single, double, walk, RBI, two steals and two runs scored, reaching base for the 16th straight game. Brandon Grudzielanek went 0-for-4, ending his on-base streak at 21 games.

The Nuts go for the three-game sweep on Monday night at 7:05 p.m., sending right-hander Kyle Weatherly (3.38 ERA) against TinCaps right-hander Luis Patino (2.49).

The Lugnuts return to Cooley Law School Stadium this Wednesday, August 8th, for the start of a seven-game homestand against the Dayton Dragons and Bowling Green Hot Rods. To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life, visit 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.

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