Russell's Blasts Lead 66ers Past Lancaster
(LANCASTER, CA) - Kyle Russell displayed the prodigious power that has made him a top prospect in the Dodgers' farm system by smacking a pair of home runs and collecting five RBIs in Inland Empire's 7-0 triumph over the JetHawks at Clear Channel Stadium Monday. Russell went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer, a solo shot and five RBIs and the 66ers got a complete game shutout from starter Nate Eovaldi. The loss extended Lancaster's season-long losing streak to 11 games.
After Eovaldi and JetHawks starter Kyle Greenwalt each tossed scoreless innings through the first two frames, the 66ers got singles from Chris Gutierrez and Johan Garcia in the top of the third. With two on and two out, Russell socked a three-run homer over the right field wall to give Inland Empire a 3-0 advantage.
66ers catcher Matt Wallach belted a solo home run off Greenwalt (1-4) in the fourth to extend Inland Empire's lead to 4-0.
Meanwhile, the JetHawks struggled at the plate throughout the night. Eovaldi (1-2) limited Lancaster to just five hits and registered five strikeouts with no walks en route to picking up his first win of the season in the complete game shutout. Albert Cartwright was the only JetHawk to record a multi-hit game.
Russell crushed a solo homer in the top of the eighth that sailed over the batter's eye beyond the center field fence. Russell leads the California League with 14 home runs. The 66ers tacked on another run in the ninth off JetHawks reliever Michael Schurz.
With the win, the 66ers improved to 20-32. Lancaster fell to 15-35 with the loss.
The JetHawks will seek to avoid a series sweep when the two teams meet on Tuesday at Clear Channel Stadium. Right-hander Ross Seaton (1-6, 5.54 ERA) gets the start for Lancaster. The 66ers are expected to counter with L.A. Dodgers southpaw George Sherrill (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who will be making a rehab start for Inland Empire. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. Tune in for all the live action beginning with the JetHawks Pre-Game Show at 6:45 p.m. on www.jethawks.com/csn and News Talk 1380-AM.
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