LANSING – The Lansing Lugnuts seemed to have an answer for every Burlington run on a windy Sunday afternoon, as Lansing belted two key homers in a 5-4 win over the Bees in front of 5,312 fans at Oldsmobile Park.
The Bees led 1-0 after plating a run in the top of the second, but Lansing was able to immediately reply with two of their own in the bottom of the frame. Kevin Ahrens had a single that plated Lansing's first run, while Yohernmyn Chavez drive the other home with a groundout that put the Lugnuts ahead 2-1.
Burlington would tie the game in the fourth when Kyle Martin walked and scored on Nick Van Stratten's second double of the game. Both went off of the left-center field wall.
However Lansing again fought right back as Ahrens blasted a solo homer beyond the right field wall, giving the Lugnuts a 3-2 advantage.
It would stay that way until the seventh when the Bees scored and then threatened to take the lead. Adrian Ortiz laced a single into left field that pushed Juan Rivera across the plate, tying the game at 3-3. After Johnny Giavotella's single put runners at the corners, David Lough lifted a fly ball into right field that was caught by Lansing's Moises Sierra. He then threw Ortiz out at home as he tried to score on the fly ball, keeping it a 3-3 game.
The Lugnuts would gain the decisive runs in their next at-bat as Justin Jackson hit a line drive two-run homer that just cleared the right field wall. The dinger, which was his sixth of the season, made it a 5-3 game.
Chi-Hung Cheng made the start for the Lugnuts and tossed six innings. He allowed just two runs on six hits while fanning six batters, but he did not get a decision despite the quality start.
Instead Joe Wice (3-0) got the win in relief after tossing the seventh. He gave up one run on three hits in the outing.
Tim Collins notched his sixth save after throwing the final two innings. He surrendered just one run and struck out five.
Burke Baldwin (1-2) took the loss for the Bees after allowing the two run homer to Jackson. They were the only runs that he gave up in three innings of work.
Lansing (55-39, 16-8) and Burlington (43-50, 13-11) will play the rubber game of the series Monday night at 7:05 p.m. Trystan Magnuson (0-8, 6.17) will make the start for the Lugnuts. He will be opposed the Bees' Danny Duffy (4-4, 3.17).