COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. - After suffering an excruciating loss in the series opener, the Lansing Lugnuts (17-16, 49-53) enjoyed their second consecutive rout of the West Michigan Whitecaps (13-20, 34-68), 9-1, taking the rubber match of the three-game series on Friday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.The Lugnuts improved to 9-4
COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. - After suffering an excruciating loss in the series opener, the Lansing Lugnuts (17-16, 49-53) enjoyed their second consecutive rout of the West Michigan Whitecaps (13-20, 34-68), 9-1, taking the rubber match of the three-game series on Friday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Lugnuts improved to 9-4 against the Whitecaps in 2019, including victories in eight of the last nine meetings. The sole exception came on Wednesday, when the Whitecaps scored three runs in a twice-delayed 82-minute eighth inning to hand the Nuts a 4-3 defeat.
The Nuts responded by outscoring the 'Caps 17-1 over the final 18 innings of the series, piling up 23 hits along the way. Lansing's 6-7-8-9 batters - D.J. Neal, Hagen Danner , Hunter Steinmetz and Tanner Kirwer - each scored two runs, while the 1-2-3 batters - Otto Lopez , Rafael Lantigua and Gabriel Moreno each collected two hits.
Neal sparked the scoring in the second inning, launching his fourth home run of the year to deep left-center off Chance Kirby's (Loss, 3-6) first pitch of the frame. Lantigua followed five batters with a two-run double for a 3-0 lead.
A sacrifice fly from Lopez increased the score to 4-0 in the fourth.
After West Michigan scored its only run in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to a Daniel Reyes sacrifice fly, the Lugnuts applied the knockout blows with a two-run Lopez single in the sixth and a three-run seventh featuring an RBI triple from Danner and an RBI double from Steinmetz.
18-year-old Eric Pardinho (Win, 1-1) earned his first Lugnuts victory with five innings of two-hit, one-run ball, striking out six Whitecaps while lowering his ERA to 1.88.
He was followed to the mound by a returning Cobi Johnson , activated from the Injured List earlier in the day, who struck out seven 'Caps in three hitless innings, allowing just a walk.
Marcus Reyes wrapped up the final three outs in a scoreless ninth, extending his consecutive scoreless streak to 19 1/3 innings.
The only down note for the Lugnuts: third baseman Johnny Aiello went 0-for-5 to end his on-base streak at 23 games.
The Nuts now return home for a three-game series from Saturday through Monday at Cooley Law School Stadium, hosting the South Bend Cubs. Right-hander Troy Miller (4.80 ERA) takes the mound in the 7:05 p.m. opener on Saturday: Oregon Trail Night with a Daniel Norris Bobblehead Giveaway! To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com, call (517) 485-4500 or come to the Cooley Law School Stadium box office at 505 E. Michigan Ave. in downtown Lansing.
# # #