Captains win 5th straight in South Bend
SOUTH BEND - The only thing that changed for the Lake County Captains on Wednesday night was the venue.
Playing away from the friendly confines of Classic Park for the first time in seven games, the Captains (20-19) kept on rolling, defeating the second-place South Bend Silver Hawks (21-19) 5-2. It was the fifth consecutive win for Lake County, placing them over .500 for the first time since April 10.
The Captains, who had eight hits, were led by two a piece from center fielder Luigi Rodriguez, shortstop Francisco Lindor, and catcher Alex Lavisky. Rodriguez, who also had a walk, hit his sixth double and knocked in his 16th run of the season.
Lindor stayed hot, hitting his seventh double and knocking in his nineteenth run. Since he returned from a family emergency, the Indians number one overall prospect has gone 6-12 (.500) with one home run, two doubles, and seven RBI. The streak has raised his batting average to .322.
Lavisky rebounded from a rough series against Great Lakes, in which he went 0-11, to go 2-3 with a walk and his tenth double of the year.
Lake County squandered scoring opportunities in the first two innings. In the top of the first, Rodriguez and Lindor reached safely, but the rally was quelled when designated hitter Alex Monsalve hit into a double play. In the second, Lavisky’s double put Captains on second and third with only one out, but South Bend starter Jesse Darrah (3-2, 4.30) retired the next two hitters to escape the jam.
The Captains struck first with one run in the top of the third inning. Rodriguez opened the inning with a single and promptly stole second base, his 11th swipe of the season. Lindor advanced Rodriguez to third on a ground out. With Monsalve at the plate, Darrah threw a wild pitch, scoring Rodriguez.
In the bottom of the frame, the Silver Hawks answered against Lake County starter Shawn Morimando (1-0, 4.50). After a leadoff walk to center fielder Ender Inciarte, right fielder Chris Ellison blasted and RBI triple, his second, to tie the score at 1-1.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Captains broke the game open and never looked back. For the second consecutive game, Lake County used a two-out rally to score the bulk of their runs. After a Lavisky single and a walk to second baseman Robel Garcia, left fielder Zach MacPhee hit his first triple of the year, plating both base runners. Rodriguez and Lindor followed with consecutive RBI doubles to give the Captains a 5-1 lead.
Darrah was pulled from the game after just four innings, taking the loss. The South Bend bullpen pitched five innings, surrendering no runs on only three Lake County hits.
For the Captains, Morimando earned his first win of the season in only his third start. The Virginia Beach native pitched five innings, giving up four hits and one run. He struck out a season high six batters, while only walking one.
He was replaced by Francisco Valera, who tossed two scoreless innings of relief. Manuel Carmona, in his second outing of the year, pitched the eighth inning, surrendering a run to the Silver Hawks. After retiring South Bend’s first two hitters via strikeouts, Carmona gave up a double to left fielder Marc Bourgeois. Catcher Fidel Pena, who was 3-4 on the evening, followed with an RBI single to bring the score to 5-2, which would remain the final tally.
Closer Jeff Johnson came on in the ninth and picked up his sixth save of the season, giving up one hit and striking out a batter.
The Captains will put their five game winning streak on the line Thursday night. Felix Sterling (2-1, 2.81) is slated to start for the Captains. He will face off against Archie Bradley (5-1, 2.25) for the Silver Hawks.