MIDLAND, Mich. - Josh Winckowski shut down the Midwest League's most powerful offense and the Lansing Lugnuts (25-31) homered in the first four innings, including two Hagen Danner big flies, in an 8-0 series-opening win over the Great Lakes Loons (35-20) on Tuesday night at Dow Diamond.The Loons entered the
MIDLAND, Mich. - Josh Winckowski shut down the Midwest League's most powerful offense and the Lansing Lugnuts (25-31) homered in the first four innings, including two Hagen Danner big flies, in an 8-0 series-opening win over the Great Lakes Loons (35-20) on Tuesday night at Dow Diamond.
The Loons entered the game with a league-leading 308 runs scored, averaging 5.7 per game, but the 20-year-old Winckowski (Win, 6-2) overwhelmed them. The 20-year-old notched his team-leading seventh quality start of the year and lowered his ERA to 1.90, second-best in the Midwest League, with six shutout innings, allowing only a pair of first-inning singles and three walks while striking out seven Loons.
Marcus Reyes followed with two scoreless one-hit frames with three strikeouts and Jackson Rees breezed through a perfect ninth with two strikeouts, completing the three-hit shutout - the first time the Loons had been blanked since an Opening Day defeat to Lake County.
On the other side, Great Lakes starter Robinson Ortiz (Loss, 0-2) had no such luck against the Lugnuts' offense.
In the first inning, Griffin Conine lashed an RBI triple and Jake Brodt followed with a two-run homer to give the Nuts a 3-0 lead. It was Brodt's team-leading eighth home run of the year.
In the second inning, Danner belted his first home run since April 16th, a towering shot to left, for a 4-0 lead.
In the third inning, Conine launched an Ortiz curve off the video board in right, his third home run in just his sixth Midwest League game, to make it 5-0.
And in the fourth inning, Danner struck again, smoking his sixth homer of 2019 to left with Luis De Los Santos aboard for a 7-0 Lugnuts lead.
D.J. Neal added an RBI single in the eighth to close out the scoring and match the Lugnuts' largest margin of victory for the year.
The Lugnuts and Loons play the middle tilt in their three-game series at 10:35 a.m. Wednesday, with Nuts right-hander Josh Hiatt (2.79 ERA) taking on Loons right-hander Zach Willeman (7.45).
Lansing returns to Michigan's state capital for a three-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods from June 14-16, including Star Wars Night with post-game LAFCU Fireworks on Saturday, July 15th. To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets to Sunday or throughout the 2019 season, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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