The Lansing Lugnuts snapped a two-all tie in the bottom half of the fifth inning with a five-run outburst en route to a 7-3 victory over the Great Lakes Loons Sunday afternoon, nullifying the impact of two solo home runs from Loons batters.
Jeremy Rathjen connected for his first home run of the year, a solo shot in the fourth inning, for the first score of the game. Following Rathjen's blast, the Loons loaded the bases with one out on three straight singles but did not score further.
Lansing responded in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run double by Balbino Fuenmayor to take a 2-1 lead.
Tyler Ogle connected on a deep drive just fair down the left field line for his fifth home run to tie the score at 2.
But the Lugnuts again responded, this time with a five-run outburst. Gustavo Pierre's two-run double chopped down the left field line and over third baseman Eric Smith's head gave Lansing the lead. Dashenko Ricardo was charged with a passed ball to make it 5-2. Then Carlos Ramirez followed with a double over Jeremy Rathjen's head to make the score 7-2.
Elevys Gonzalez doubled to deep center field to bring in the game's final run with two outs in the top of the ninth.
Loons starter Jharel Cotton pitched four innings and faced four batters in the fifth before departing. Cotton (1-3) was charged with six runs (all earned) and five hits, walking two and striking out five.
Craig Stem was charged with a run in his one inning in relief of Cotton, but the tall righty struck out three. Luis Meza (two innings) and Scott Griggs (one) pitched scoreless relief.
Javier Avendano (4-2) surrendered the two solo shots but worked five serviceable innings to collect his fourth win.
The Loons and Lugnuts square off for the finale of a four-game series Monday evening at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Carlos Frias (4-1, 1.59) is slated to start for the Loons against the Lugnuts lefty Alonzo Gonzalez (2-3, 6.11). The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 100.9-FM and ESPN1009.com.
The Loons are a seventh-year Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and members of the Midwest League. For more information about the Loons, visit Loons.com or call 989-837-BALL.
Copyright 2013 Great Lakes Loons. All rights reserved.