Lugs Beat the Rain, Mash out 7-3 Victory
LANSING, Mich. - Behind a gem from Fitz Stadler and four home runs, the Lansing Lugnuts (34-32, 66-69) sailed to a brisk 7-3 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps (25-41, 46-89) on Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The game was completed in two hours, 24 minutes, with the tarp immediately pulled afterward - right before a massive rainstorm arrived at the ballpark.
Stadler (Win, 6-7) held the Loons to a mere third-inning RBI groundout from Sam McMillan in twirling six masterful innings, walking none, allowing five hits, and striking out one. It was his fourth quality start of the season.
His counterpart on the other side, Chance Kirby, did not fare as well. The Whitecaps' right-hander gave up a two-run homer to LJ Talley and a solo shot to Johnny Aiello in the second inning, a solo homer to Rafael Lantigua in the fourth inning and a two-run homer to Griffin Conine in a three-run fifth inning - Conine's league-leading 21st home run of the year.
The Lugnuts matched their most home runs hit in a game in 2019, set previously on June 4th vs. Great Lakes, and came one homer away from tying the franchise single-game record.
The Whitecaps never seriously threatened the Nuts' lead. Andy McGuire pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing two runs in the latter frame, before Juan Nuñez handled a perfect ninth.
The Fort Wayne TinCaps helped the Lugnuts' faint playoff chances, defeating the South Bend Cubs, 9-4, to bring the Lugs within 2.5 games of the Cubs for the final playoff slot in the Eastern Division with four games to play in the season.
The Nuts go for the three-game sweep of the Whitecaps on Fan Appreciation Night, the club's final regular-season home game, with right-hander Troy Watson (3.22 ERA) taking on Whitecaps right-hander Maddux Conger (6.75 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. Friday. 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.
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