LANSING, Mich. – Troy Miller whiffed seven in seven innings, and the Lansing Lugnuts (15-14, 47-51) used a three-run sixth inning to double up the Clinton LumberKings (20-9, 53-45), 4-2, on Sunday afternoon at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The Lugnuts have split the first two games of the series with the Western Division-leading LumberKings, setting up a rubber match in the homestand finale on Monday night.
A first-inning Peyton Burdick sacrifice fly and a second-inning Thomas Jones RBI double gave the ‘Kings an early 2-0 lead. Jones attempted to score on a Marcos Rivera fly to right field, but Griffin Conine threw him out at the plate, with catcher Hagen Danner holding onto the ball through a collision with Jones.
That was the end of Clinton’s offense, with Miller (Win, 4-4) holding the LumberKings to just one hit and one walk through the next five innings, finishing with four hits and one walk allowed.
The Lugnuts halved their deficit in the third inning against Clinton starter Remey Reed, drawing within 2-1 on a Gabriel Moreno RBI grounder, plating Tanner Kirwer.
Reed departed after five innings, yielding to Raul Brito (Loss, 3-2). Rafael Lantigua greeted Brito with a single to left field and stole second, moving to third on a throwing error by Clinton catcher Will Banfield. After Danner and LJ Talley flied out, Kirwer drew a walk and stole second base as a wild pitch brought home Lantigua to tie the score at 2-2. Otto Lopez gave the Lugnuts a 3-2 lead with an RBI single to left field, knocking home Kirwer, and followed his teammates’ lead in stealing second. Hunter Steinmetz lined a single to right field, Lopez came home, and the rally was completed.
Marcus Reyes (Save, 1) relieved Troy Miller for a two-inning save, allowing a leadoff double to Marcos Rivera in the eighth before setting down the final six LumberKings batters.
The Lugnuts finished the game with six stolen bases, two by Lopez, increasing their league-leading total to 137. Of the Nuts’ 11 hits, only one went for extra bases – a double by Lantigua, who finished 3-for-4 and is hitting .357 in the month of July.
Monday night’s series finale is a Dollar Monday: $1 hot dogs, $1 ice cream sandwiches, $1 popcorn, $1 Miller High Life and $1 fountain drinks. Gates open at 6 p.m. with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch between the Lugnuts’ Sean Wymer (5.76 ERA) and the ‘Kings’ Jake Walters (3.20).
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.