McBride's home run knocks off BlueClaws
EASTLAKE, Ohio -- Matt McBride hit a walk-off three- run home run with two outs in the ninth to hand the BlueClaws a crushing 6-5 loss. The Lakewood defeat, coupled with a win by West Virginia kept the BlueClaws a game and a half game behind the first- place Power.
Jared Simon was forced to try for a five-out save and was one pitch away from getting it, but McBride, who was pinch hitting for Juan Valdes, crushed a fastball out of Classic Park for the game-winning runs.
The BlueClaws bullpen undid much of the hard work done by the offense and Chance Chapman with three four shaky innings of relief. Once again, usually reliable Zack Sterner and Chris Kissock faltered. Sterner gave up two runs on four hits in two innings, while Kissock only managed one out in the eighth.
Simon (6-3) entered with one out in the eighth and allowed one inherited runner to score, but held Lakewood's lead at 5-3 heading to the ninth. After a long, but ultimately unproductive inning for the BlueClaws in the top of the ninth, Simon returned and could not close out the win.
Travis D'Arnaud and Mike Durant each homered in the second inning to give Lakewood an early lead against All Star starter Ryan Miller. The home run for D'Arnaud was the second of the season for the young catcher, who has played just seven games with the BlueClaws. Durant's long ball was his 17th of the season, the third most of any BlueClaws hitter in franchise history.
Matt Rizzotti added an opposite field big fly off of Miller. Miller, who won his first seven decisions this season, has not won since May. The southpaw gave up four runs, all earned, in his 6 2/3 innings of work. He allowed ten hits and walked one.
While Miller was struggling, his Lakewood counterpart was not. Chance Chapman made his first start since August 3, going five scoreless innings. After missing nearly three weeks with neck stiffness, Chapman was on from the start. He gave up just four hits, struck out six and did not walk a batter.
The loss snapped the BlueClaws (38-22, 76-54) winning streak at four games. It was also the Captains (28-31, 69-60) 12th win of the season against the BlueClaws, ensuring Lake County of a win in the season series.
Lakewood will send one of their best to the mound on Saturday night, when Mike Stutes (4-1) takes the hill. Joey Mahalic (7-5) will start for the Captains.
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South Atlantic League Stories from August 22, 2008
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