The Butlers did it; Nuts win fourth straight
LANSING, Mich. – Lawrence Butler homered amid a three-hit game and Jonny Butler homered to break a sixth-inning tie, serving the Lansing Lugnuts (58-61) a 5-3 victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps (57-62) in front of 6,434 on Saturday night at Jackson® Field™. The Lugnuts won their fourth straight game
LANSING, Mich. – Lawrence Butler homered amid a three-hit game and Jonny Butler homered to break a sixth-inning tie, serving the Lansing Lugnuts (58-61) a 5-3 victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps (57-62) in front of 6,434 on Saturday night at Jackson® Field™.
The Lugnuts won their fourth straight game over the Whitecaps, clinching their first home series victory of the season.
Lawrence Butler, the Athletics’ No. 22 prospect and 2018 sixth-round pick, made his presence known immediately with an opposite-field home run in the first inning, but West Michigan plated runs in the first, third and fifth innings to take a 3-1 lead at the mid-point.
Whitecaps starter Zac Shepherd had struck out six batters in 4 2/3 innings, but manager Brayan Peña turned to reliever Michael Bienlien with two outs in the bottom of the fifth with Drew Swift at third and Lawrence Butler at second. Cobie Vance sent a bouncer to second baseman Wenceel Pérez, whose low throw skipped past first baseman Jake Holton. Swift and Butler each raced home to tie the game at 3-3.
An inning later, Jonny Butler struck. With one out in the sixth, the Athletics’ 2021 14th-rounder smoked a 411-foot home run over the 20-foot wall in left-center, giving the Lugnuts their first lead of the night. It was Butler’s first High-A home run and his second as a professional.
And in the seventh, Lawrence Butler came through once more, delivering an RBI single to center field to plate Drew Swift to close out the scoring. The Atlanta native finished the night 3-for-3 with one walk, two singles, one homer, two stolen bases, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Jonny Butler, meanwhile, finished 2-for-4 with a double in addition to his roundtripper. The Butlers, no relation, combined for five of the Lugnuts’ seven hits, three of the Nuts’ five runs and all three of the Nuts’ RBIs.
Lansing starter Jack Owen allowed two runs (one earned) in four innings, striking out two. Kyle Virbitsky followed with six strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run.
Brock Whittlesey (1 2/3 innings, one strikeout) and Charles Hall (one inning, two strikeouts) then combined to set down the final eight Whitecaps without issue.
One game remains in the 2021 season: a 1:05 p.m. Sunday finale on a Capital City Market Kids Day celebrating Big Lug’s Birthday! Gates open at 12 noon. Right-hander Osvaldo Berrios (3.22 ERA) starts for the Lugnuts against West Michigan right-hander Austin Bergner (2.89 ERA). To purchase tickets or for more information, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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