EASTLAKE, Ohio - Ridge Smith smashed a grand slam, Mitch Nay swatted a two-run homer, and the Lansing Lugnuts (25-40, 62-69) cruised to a 10-3 series-opening victory over the Lake County Captains (25-40, 52-82) on Wednesday night at Classic Park.
The Lugnuts put together their first three-game winning streak since July 24-27.
Lake County starter Zach Plesac (Loss, 1-1) had only allowed two runs in 17 2/2 innings in his first four Midwest League starts, but was knocked out after giving up six runs in three innings - capped by Smith's third-inning slam, the Lugnuts' third grand slam of the year.
Nay greeted reliever Justin Garza in the fourth with a no-doubt two-run shot to left-center, his ninth home run of the year.
Smith finished off the Lugnuts scoring with a fifth-inning RBI triple, trotting home with the Nuts' tenth run on a Garza wild pitch.
Lansing starter Mike Ellenbest (Win, 8-7), a native of Medina, Ohio, notched his seventh quality start of the year, tying for the team lead, with six innings of three-run ball. All three came via Captains solo home run: a Todd Isaacs shot in the third, and roundtrippers from Emmanuel Tapia and Logan Ice in the fourth. It was the third time that Ellenbest had allowed three home runs in an outing, tying the single-game franchise record for most home runs served up.
The bullpen finished with three goose eggs: Griffin Glaude pitched the seventh and eighth innings, and Chris Hall struck out a pair in the ninth.
In the win, Lugnuts designated hitter David Jacob went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored, his fourth consecutive two-hit game.
Lansing right-hander Yennsy Diaz (4-2, 4.79) duels with Lake County right-hander Luis Jimenez (2-7, 6.43) at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, the second game of the three-game series.
The Nuts open their final homestand of 2017 at 7:05 p.m. Saturday vs. Dayton, an Eat-A-Palooza: admission and all you can eat inside the ballpark for $22 in advance! Tickets may be purchased at the Cooley Law School Stadium box office, by calling (517) 485-4500 or via lansinglugnuts.com.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.