GENEVA, Ill. -Nick Podkul stole home to end a 22-inning scoring drought, but the Lansing Lugnuts (14-19) fell, 3-1, to the Kane County Cougars (19-15) in the first of a three-game series on Thursday night at Northwestern Medicine Field.The Lugnuts entered the series having been shut out in back to
GENEVA, Ill. -Nick Podkul stole home to end a 22-inning scoring drought, but the Lansing Lugnuts (14-19) fell, 3-1, to the Kane County Cougars (19-15) in the first of a three-game series on Thursday night at Northwestern Medicine Field.
The Lugnuts entered the series having been shut out in back to back games, 6-0 and 6-0, by the Quad Cities River Bandits amid a three-game sweep in Iowa City.
The drought lasted through four innings, while the Cougars built a 3-0 lead against Lugnuts starter Troy Miller(Loss, 0-2) on an Andy Yerzy RBI groundout in the second inning and RBI doubles from Eduardo Diaz and Keshawn Lynch in the fourth inning.
Podkul led off the fifth inning with a single against Kane County starter Levi Kelly, extending his on-base streak to 19 games. Ryan Gold singled Podkul to third base. After a strikeout of Dom Abbadessa and a lineout from Mc Gregory Contreras, Gold took off for second base on a delayed steal as Rafael Lantigua swung and missed at a pitch in the dirt. Kane County catcher Jose Herrera's throw toward second was late and off line, allowing Podkul to dash in from third with the Lugnuts' third steal of home this season.
In search of a further comeback, the Lugnuts were stymied by the Kane County pen. Ethan Larrison(Win, 2-0) tossed two scoreless innings, Andy Toelken followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Chester Pimentel(Save, 3) worked a scoreless ninth, striking out Gold, Abbadessa and Contreras after a leadoff walk to Podkul.
In defeat, both Gold and Otto Lopez went 3-for-4 with a steal, with Gold contributing a double for the Lugnuts' only extra-base hit.
Lansing starter Miller set a new career high with five innings worked, allowing five hits and three runs, walking three and striking out two.
Right-hander Cre Finfrock made his Lugnuts debut a smashing success, striking out five Cougars while pitching perfect baseball in the sixth and seventh innings.
Jackson Rees relieved Finfrock and handled the eighth with aplomb, striking out two in a 1-2-3 frame. In total in 2019, Rees has struck out 27 batters compared to one walk in 15 innings, allowing just one unearned run.
The Nuts send right-hander Sean Wymer (7.20 ERA) to the mound on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Eastern, 6:30 p.m. local, opposed by Kane County right-hander Matt Tabor (0.00 ERA) in the second game of the three-game series.
The Lugnuts return home for a three-game series against the West Michigan Whitecaps from a Dollar Monday, May 13th, through a Dog Days of Summer Wednesday, May 15th. To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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