Loons sweep Lug nuts - WNEM TV 5

Loons sweep Lugnuts

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The Great Lakes Loons (58-62, 31-19) scored two early runs, which was all the help that Chris Anderson (3-0) and the Loons pitching staff needed, as Great Lakes completed a three-game sweep of the Lansing Lugnuts (51-69, 19-32) with a 3-1 victory on Monday night at Dow Diamond.

The Loons win, coupled with a South Bend Silver Hawks (75-45, 31-20) loss at the West Michigan Whitecaps (57-61, 24-24) on Monday night, means Great Lakes has jumped back into first place in the Midwest League Eastern Division second-half standings. The Loons are now a half-game ahead of South Bend.
 
Great Lakes scored the first run of the game on double steal in the third inning. With runners at the corners, catcher Jose Capellan attempted to steal second base. When Lugnuts catcher Santiago Nessy threw to second, Jeremy Rathjen stole home. Capellan, who stole was safe on the steal attempt, scored the second run of the frame on a Kevin Taylor single.
 
Anderson, the Los Angeles Dodgers' No. 7 prospect, was dominant over five shutout innings and picked up his third professional win. He struck out seven, while only allowing one walk and two hits. Anderson did not allow a baserunner until the fourth inning, retiring the first 11 Lansing hitters.
 
"Playing baseball when you're fighting for a playoff spot is awesome," Anderson said. "I like playing with that kind of pressure and I feel like I can thrive in those types of situations and get better. That said, I do try to treat every game like it's a regular start. I just have to go out there and compete and do what I do best, which is to throw strikes."
 
"That's what a great pitcher is supposed to do," Loons manager Razor Shines said. "He dominated the ballgame and gave us an opportunity to win it, and we didn't need many runs tonight. He was outstanding. And I'll tell you what; if he keeps throwing the ball like that, fans better rush out here and see him because he isn't going to be around long."
 
Lugnuts starter Taylor Cole (7-11) also pitched well, giving Lansing 5 2/3 solid innings, allowing just two runs on four hits, but took credit for the loss. Cole also struck out seven, while issuing two walks.
 
The Loons added an insurance run in the seventh when Lugnuts left fielder Chris Hawkins made a two-base error on a Malcolm Holland single that allowed Capellan, who was 1-for-2, with two runs scored and a walk, to score from first base on the play.
 
"I'm just trying to make better contact when I'm up at the plate and take my swings in better counts," Capellan said through teammate Alan Garcia. "I just go out there and play every day. The team has great chemistry right now and it's just a great group of guys. I try to do my job behind the plate and have confidence in myself that I can do my job."
 
Griffin Murphy pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief for the Lugnuts, giving up one unearned run on one hit, while striking out three and walking one. Chad Girodo added one inning of scoreless relief for Lansing, allowing one hit and picking up one strikeout.
 
Lansing loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but could only score one run. Eight-hitter Jason Leblebijian scored from third base on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Emilio Guerrero.
 
Great Lakes' bullpen had another solid effort on Monday night. Thomas Taylor and Luis Meza both pitched scoreless innings. Meza did not give up a hit and struck out two. Crayton Bare pitched 2/3 innings and gave up the first run allowed by a Loons reliever in the series with Lansing. Owen Jones threw the last 1 1/3 innings for Great Lakes and struck out two, picking up his second save of the season.
 
Hawkins, the Lansing seven-hitter, had the only multi-hit game of the night for either side, going 2-for-4 in the game.
 
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