GENEVA, Ill. - Trailing by six runs early, the Lansing Lugnuts (19-14) brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth before falling in defeat to the Kane County Cougars (19-14), 6-4, on Saturday afternoon at Northwestern Medicine Field.
Lansing finished its five-game road trip with a 3-2 record - and with 1,499 wins as a franchise, one shy of 1,500.
The Cougars scored one in the second and two runs in the third off Lugnuts starter Denis Diaz (Loss, 0-1), adding on three fifth-inning runs against reliever Griffin Glaude to build a 6-0 lead.
Kane County starter Jon Duplantier (Win, 3-0) limited the Lugnuts to two hits and one walk in five scoreless innings, striking out eight.
Once Duplantier exited, the Lugnuts struck. Bo Bichette doubled to right field to open the sixth inning, sparking a quick two-run rally. An inning later, Bichette singled in Nick Sinay , carving the deficit to 6-3.
Facing Cougars closer Tommy Eveld in the ninth, Andres Sotillo led off with a single and Sinay drew a walk. Following a J.B. Woodman flyout, Bichette collected his third hit, a single to right that loaded the bases. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. shaved the deficit down to two with a sacrifice fly to deep center.
With tying runs at first and second, Eveld (Save, 7) retired the Midwest League's April Player of the Month, Bradley Jones , on a groundout to first, ending the game.
Bichette finished 3-for-5 to raise his league-leading batting average to .367. Guerrero, however, was 0-for-4 - ending his on-base streak at 29 games.
After a day off for Mother's Day, the Lugnuts open a three-game homestand from Monday, May 15th, through Wednesday, May 17th, against the Fort Wayne TinCaps. Monday is a Dog Days of Summer with dogs welcome to the ballpark; gates open at 6:00 p.m. with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. 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.