Captains win 4-1, Sweep the Loons
EASTLAKE - The Lake County Captains (19-19) completed the four game sweep of the Great Lakes Loons (20-19) on Tuesday, winning the game by a score of 4-1. The win pushed the Captains, winners of seven of their last eight, back to .500 on the season. The four game winning streak is the longest of the season for Lake County. Meanwhile, the Loons suffered their fifth straight defeat.
Lake County rode the right arm of starter Cody Anderson (4-1, 1.89), the Indians 14th round selection in the 2011 draft, for six strong innings. Anderson collected the win, his fourth of the season, giving up just two hits and zero runs, while striking out five and walking only one Loon hitter.
“It was definitely one of my better outings,” Anderson said. “My fastball and cutter were working early and I stuck with them and mixed in my curveball.”
The Captains were held quiet for five innings by Great Lakes starter Gustavo Gomez (4-2, 3.43) before mounting a two-out rally in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Gomez started the inning by hitting eighth place hitter Jerrud Sabourin, the Captains first baseman. Second baseman Leonardo Castillo advanced Sabourin to second on a slow chopper to third base. After center fielder Luigi Rodriguez struck out, the Loons decided to intentionally walk shortstop Francisco Lindor, bringing catcher Alex Monsalve to the plate.
Monsalve responded, sending a single into center field that plated Sabourin. On the relay, Loons second baseman Kevin Taylor attempted to throw behind Monsalve at first. His throw, however, got past first baseman Joe Winker and rattled up against the Captains dugout, allowing Lindor to score and Monsalve to advance to second, putting Lake County up 2-0.
“[Monsalve] has been seeing a lot of breaking balls,” said Manager Dave Wallace about the catcher’s clutch hit. “He did a great job staying on the slider away.”
The rally seemed to rattle Gomez, who then hit right fielder Jordan Smith and walked left fielder Zach MacPhee. Smith’s hit-by-pitch extended his on base streak to 14 games, a season high for any Captains hitter. After the walk, Gomez was replaced by right-hander Matt Shelton, who struck out designated hitter Alex Lavisky to escape the bases loaded jam.
Lavisky had a rough day for the Captains, going 0-4 with two strikeouts. It lowered his batting average to .226 on the season and he has now struck out 33 times, the second most on the team.
Shelton was not as successful when he came back out in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Sabourin reached on an error by Taylor. After a fly out to right field by Castillo, the Captains’ bats came alive once again with two outs. Rodriguez smacked an RBI double off the left field wall, scoring Sabourin. Rodriguez advanced to third on an error by Loons right fielder Noel Cuevas. It was the third error of the game for the Loons and their 68th of the season. Lindor then banged an RBI single up the middle, his sixth RBI in the last two days, scoring Rodriguez, and giving the Captains a 4-0 advantage. Shelton gave up a single down the first base line to Monsalve before exiting, replaced by right-hander Yimi Garcia. Garcia struck out Smith to end the inning.
In one inning pitched, Shelton allowed three hits and two runs, although neither run was earned. He also struck out one Captains hitter.
For the second day in a row, the Loons were unable to get any offense going off of Lake County’s pitching staff. Great Lakes finished the day with only one run on three hits. The lone run came in the ninth inning by way of a Joe Winker home run, his fourth of the season. Winker hit the solo shot off Cole Cook, who came on in relief of Anderson.
Cook looked impressive in his three innings of relief. He earned the three-inning save, his second of the season. Aside from the home run, he shut down the Loons, giving up one hit and striking out four. He also walked a batter.
The Captains finished the day with six hits, two each by Lindor and Monsalve. Lindor moved his average to .319 on the season, hitting his sixth double and knocking in his 18th run. Monsalve raised his average to .234 with his two singles. His RBI in the sixth inning gave him an even 20 for the year.
With the win, the Captains are .500 for the first time since April 11, when they suffered a defeat to this Great Lakes team to push their record to 3-3. They finished the current home stand against Dayton and Great Lakes 6-1.
“I knew we would be back to .500,” said starter Cody Anderson. “Our talent at the plate is phenomenal.”
“It means something that we’re playing well,” Wallace said about the recent surge. “Guys are giving every ounce of effort.”
After the game, Wallace also discussed left fielder Bryson Myles, who left the game after re-injuring his hamstring running out a ground out to the shortstop to open the second inning.
“It was a little hamstring; just a spasm though,” Wallace said. “We will see how he feels [going forward].”
Myles missed a week earlier in the season because of a hamstring issue. He is currently hitting .264 with one home run and 14 RBI.
The Captains hit the road for a brief three game series that begins Wednesday with the second-place South Bend Silver Hawks, hoping to build upon their four-game winning streak. Left-hander Shawn Morimando (0-0, 6.00) will make his third start of the season for Lake County and is slated to go against right-hander Jesse Darrah (3-1, 3.48) for the Silver Hawks.