MIDLAND, Mich. - The Lansing Lugnuts (32-36) blanked the Great Lakes Loons (33-36), 3-0, on Saturday night at Dow Diamond, with starting pitcher Frank Viola III picked up his first win in affiliated professional baseball since 2005.
The 29-year-old knuckleballing Viola (Win, 1-0) extended his scoreless streak to 10.2 innings in two starts, scattering eight hits and coaxing five double plays by the Loons.
Reliever Phil Kish relieved Viola in the seventh and stranded the bases loaded to preserve the shutout. Kish finished with 1.1 perfect innings and one strikeout.
Closer Griffin Murphy (Save, 11) tied the Midwest League saves lead, striking out two Loons in a perfect ninth inning.
The Lugnuts took the lead in the third inning when third baseman Matt Dean hit an RBI single to left, and L.B. Dantzler followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Lugnuts ahead 2-0 against Great Lakes starter Brandon Martinez (Loss, 1-3).
Lansing added a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by center fielder D.J. Davis.
Dean finished the game 2-for-3 with an RBI and two walks, raising his average to .324. Shortstop Jason Leblebijian added three singles in the game.
The Lugnuts and Loons play the final game of the season's first half on Sunday afternoon at Dow Diamond. Right-hander Jeremy Gabryszwski (4-2, 3.35) starts on the mound for Lansing, with righty Jordan Hershiser (0-0, 2.00) pitching for Great Lakes.
Tickets are available for purchase via the stadium box office, telephone at 517-485-4500 and online at lansinglugnuts.com. To sign up for Lugnuts Alerts, text LUGNUTS to 80373.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.