Cortes fans nine in win over Clinton
Burlington, IA (August 3, 2006) Dan Cortes struck out a career-high nine batters over six innings and a six-run fourth inning lifted the Burlington Bees (17-24, 52-56) to an 8-2 win over the Clinton LumberKings (10-31, 33-77) at Community Field tonight. The Bees lead this series 2-1 and the season series 7-4 with one game remaining.
The Bees staked Cortes to an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jose Duarte singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Josh Johnson, and as he was stealing third, Clinton starter Zach Phillips threw a wild pitch to the screen that allowed Duarte to come all the way around to score. Phillips then issued a two-out walk to Miguel Vega, moved him to second on a wild pitch, and Jeff Howell drove him in with a single to left.
Cortes (1-0) only blemish tonight was the top of the second inning. John Mayberry led off with a solo homer to left and with one out, Ian Gac blasted another solo shot tie the game. It was Mayberry's 16th of the season and Gac's second of the series giving him five on the year. Cortes only allowed two more singles the rest of his outing and struck out five of the final six batters he faced to set his new career-best with nine strikeouts in the game.
The Bees broke the game open in the fourth. Phillips (3-10) walked Howell, Brady Everett singled, and a passed ball moved the runners to second and third with no outs. After a lineout, Omar Pena singled to drive in Howell and give the Bees a 3-2 lead. Pena stole second and after a strikeout, Phillips walked Duarte and Johnson to force in a run before coming out of the game. Joey McLaughlin came on in relief and walked Mario Lisson to force in another run before Vega broke it open with a bases-clearing double off the top of the wall in right. Vega leads the team now with 60 RBI for the year. After Howell added another single, McLaughlin got a comebacker to end the inning and didn't allow another base runner through the seventh. Jonathan Hollis made his Clinton debut in the eighth and allowed a two-out double to Valentino Arce that extended his season-high hitting streak to nine games, before getting out of the inning.
Mario Santiago finished the final three innings in relief for the Bees and earned his first professional save. Santiago allowed two hits and struck out four.
The Bees and LumberKings wrap up this series tomorrow night at 7:00 at Community Field. RH Carlos Rosa (7-6, 2.54) will start for the Bees against RH Juan Jimenez (2-9, 4.57) for Clinton. The gates will open at 6:00 for Fun City Night at Community Field featuring a post-game fireworks show. There will also be a special announcement about the future of the Bees baseball operation made during the game. The game will be broadcast live on KBUR AM 1490 and KBKB AM 1360 with the pre-game show starting at 6:40.
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