FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Mitch Nay , a 2014 Midwest League All-Star, homered in his return to action, and the Lansing Lugnuts (35-26) outslugged the Fort Wayne TinCaps (23-41), 9-7, on Monday night at Parkview Field.
After dropping the first two games of the series, the Lugnuts came back with a pair of wins to clinch a split and stay within two games of Dayton for the Eastern Division wild card with six games to play.
Nay, drafted 58th overall in 2012 and at one time the No. 4 prospect in the Blue Jays' organization, had been sidelined by a staph infection and three separate knee surgeries. It was his first time at full strength in game action in two years. He made it count, launching a hanging curve from David Bednar in the ninth well beyond the left field wall.
The blow provided insurance following a late Lugnuts rally. Trailing 6-5 in the seventh, the Nuts grabbed the lead on a two-out, two-run infield single by Nash Knight off reliever Diomar Lopez (Blown Save, 1; Loss, 0-2). Lopez struck out the next batter, J.B. Woodman , but a wild pitch on the swinging strike-three allowed Christian Williams to score.
Starter Andy Ravel pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits, including home runs by Marcus Greene, Jr. and G.K. Young.
Griffin Glaude (Win, 3-1) pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief, giving up only one base runner: a Hudson Potts solo homer in the seventh.
All-Star Geno Encina set down six consecutive TinCaps in the eighth and ninth, recording his first save of the year.
A Lugnuts 13-hit attack was led by three-hit showings from both Knight and Edward Olivares , while leadoff man Rodrigo Orozco went 2-for-4 with a walk. Both Olivares and Orozco scored a pair of runs.
Next up for the Nuts, a three-game series at Four Winds Field against the South Bend Cubs. The opener starts at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, featuring right-hander Osman Gutierrez (1-4, 12.38) taking on Cubs left-hander Manuel Rondon (7-2, 4.97).
The Lansing Lugnuts return home from June 16-18, hosting the archrival West Michigan Whitecaps. 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.