LANSING, Mich. - Tanner Kirwer belted a three-run homer, piggyback tandem Fitz Stadler and Cobi Johnson combined for 14 strikeouts, and the Lansing Lugnuts (19-26) emphatically avoided a four-game sweep, rolling to a 9-4 victory over the Great Lakes Loons (28-16) on Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.The romp
LANSING, Mich. - Tanner Kirwer belted a three-run homer, piggyback tandem Fitz Stadler and Cobi Johnson combined for 14 strikeouts, and the Lansing Lugnuts (19-26) emphatically avoided a four-game sweep, rolling to a 9-4 victory over the Great Lakes Loons (28-16) on Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The romp ended Great Lakes's seven-game winning streak while extending the Lugnuts offense's streak to five consecutive games with at least six runs.
Loons starter Robinson Ortiz (Loss, 0-1) suffered through a rough Midwest League debut, lasting only two innings and allowing seven runs on six hits and two walks. Hunter Steinmetz erased an early 1-0 deficit with a two-out RBI double in the first inning, and Kirwer followed with his first home run of the year, a line drive to right for a 4-1 lead.
Otto Lopez added an RBI double in the second inning, preceded by a run-scoring error by right-fielder Romer Cuadrado - one three Loons errors in the game and a remarkable 15 in the four-game series - and followed by a Gabriel Moreno sacrifice fly that put the Lugnuts up 7-1.
It was the first of three Lugnuts sacrifice flies in the game, with Reggie Pruitt driving in Luis De Los Santos in the fourth and Hagen Danner plating Mc Gregory Contreras in the sixth, increasing the lead to 9-1.
On the other side, it was Stadler and Johnson tamping down the highest scoring offense in the Midwest League.
Starter Stadler set the tone with 4 1/3 innings, striking out six, and allowing only a Niko Hulsizer first-inning RBI double. Johnson (Win, 1-3) entered in the fifth with one and two Loons aboard, striking out Hunter Feduccia, walking Jacob Amaya to load the bases and then striking out the dangerous Hulsizer to quell the threat.
Hulsizer did strike later in the game, knocking his league-leading 12th home run off Johnson in the eighth to trim the deficit to 9-2. Jacob Amaya closed out the scoring in the ninth inning with a two-run single off Sean Rackoski before Hulsizer grounded to third to end the game.
In all, Johnson fired four innings, allowing two hits, three walks and three runs, and striking out a career high eight batters, with Rackoski recording the final two outs of the game.
The Lugnuts' offensive efficiency was impressive; they finished the game with only one runner left on base, going 3-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Steinmetz, Lopez and De Los Santos each collected two hits, with Lopez extending his on-base streak to 16 games.
The Lugnuts now welcome the Lake County Captains to Cooley Law School Stadium for the first of a four-game series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Lansing right-hander Josh Winckowski (1.64 ERA) starts against Captains right-hander Luis Oviedo (4.54). To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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