CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. – Hagen Danner broke a scoreless deadlock with a two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Lansing Lugnuts (13-10, 45-47) blanked the Cedar Rapids Kernels (13-10, 52-41), 2-0, on Sunday afternoon at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Lugnuts improved to 6-2 with one game remaining in their nine-game road trip to Lake County, Peoria and Cedar Rapids. In seven of the eight games, they have allowed two runs or fewer.
Kernels right-hander Kai-Wei Teng matched zeroes with Lugnuts starter Eric Pardinho for the first five innings and reliever Fitz Stadler in the sixth.
In the seventh inning, however, the Kernels turned to reliever J.T. Perez (Loss, 1-1). Hunter Steinmetz led off with a triple to right-center, causing the Kernels to bring their infield in – only to see the Lugnuts’ first baseman crush a 3-1 pitch to the right of the batter’s eye for his team-leading 12th home run.
The Nuts’ bullpen handled business from there.
Stadler (Win, 2-5) wrapped up three scoreless innings, striking out two while allowing two hits and two walks.
In the ninth, Cre Finfrock (Save, 11) walked Gabe Snyder and Wander Javier before inducing a double-play ball from Spencer Steer (with Snyder nearly tagged out at third for a game-ending triple play) followed by a groundout from Jared Akins to end the game.
Lansing starter Pardinho gave up three singles and a walk in five innings in a no-decision, striking out four straight Kernels from the fourth through the fifth innings. The 18-year-old right-hander, the youngest player in the Midwest League, has allowed three runs in 14 innings with 13 strikeouts through three starts with the Lugnuts.
Right-hander Troy Miller (4.40 ERA) starts the rubber match at 1:05 p.m. Eastern / 12:05 p.m. local time in a Monday matinee against Cedar Rapids right-hander Austin Schulfer (2.62). Following the game’s conclusion, the Nuts return home from July 17-22 for a six-game homestand against the Burlington Bees and Clinton LumberKings. To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com, call (517) 485-4500 or come to the Cooley Law School Stadium box office at 505 E. Michigan Ave. in downtown Lansing.