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Captains flip the script on Dragons, 12-0

Lake County shutout Dayton 12-0, one-night after getting thrashed 11-1.

Captains flip the script on Dragons, 12-0
Grant Fink went 1-for-2, crushing a three-run homer in the fifth inning of Sunday's shutout win. (Photo credit: Tony Lastoria)
August 31, 2014
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EASTLAKE, OH - The Lake County Captains (38-30, 65-73) used five homeruns to turn the tables on the Dayton Dragons (31-38, 67-70) Sunday afternoon. The Dragons beat the Captains 11-1 on Saturday and the Captains returned the favor with a 12-0 rout.

The first two batters reached base but were erased by a fielder’s choice and a caught stealing. Centerfielder Bradley Zimmer walked and stole second. First baseman Nellie Rodriguez blasted his 22nd homerun to left field, scoring Zimmer. Rodriguez is tied for the league lead in homeruns.

Right fielder Clint Frazier and Zimmer went back-to-back in the third inning. Frazier hit his 12th homerun and Zimmer hammered his first homer with the Captains. Lake County lead 4-0 in the third.

The Captains added three runs in the fourth inning to open a 7-0 lead. Catcher Sicnarf Loopstok singled and stole second base. Third baseman Grant Fink walked with one out. Second baseman Claudio Bautista lined a three-run blast to the bleachers, plating both runners.

Dragons’ starter Jackson Stephens was pulled from the game after giving up seven earned runs on seven hits in three and two thirds innings. He walked four and struck out three. He fell to 2-7 with the loss. Pedro Diaz entered and retired the final batter.

A four-spot in the fifth inning turned Sunday’s game into a déjà vu of Saturday’s game. Zimmer opened the frame with a double. Rodriguez singled him over to third base. A double play ball off the bat of left fielder Mike Papi scored Zimmer. A double and a single put two runners in and two outs. Fink crushed his 13th homerun of the year to left center field, a three-run blast. The Captains held an 11-0 lead after five.

Southpaw Luis Lugo improved to 10-9 on the year. He scattered two hits over six shutout innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out five. Lugo retired the final 14 batters he faced. Trevor Frank entered and pitched a perfect seventh inning.

“Today was one of the best performances I have had in my career. I was throwing all of my pitches well today (fastball, changeup, slider and curveball),” Luis Lugo on his shutout performance.

Diaz surrendered four earned runs on five hits in two and one third innings. Tony Amezcua came in for the seventh. The Captains loaded the bases on a single, double and a walk. Fink plated a run with a bases loaded sacrifice fly to add a twelfth run. Amezcua gave up one run in two innings of relief.

Carlos Melo and Justin Brantley each threw a scoreless inning in relief. Captains pitching combined to retire 21 straight batters at one point.

“Today’s game was completely different from last night. Lugo set the tone and the team was swinging the bats well,” said Captains manager Mark Budzinski on the power show on Sunday.

The Captains had 14 hits in the game, with eight different players joining the fun. Loopstok had a three hit game. Four players had two hits. Fink led the team with 4 runs batted in. Bautista plated three runs and Rodriguez added two to his organization-leading 87 RBI.

In the regular season finale, the Captains will have LHP Sean Brady (0-0, 0.00) make the start up from Mahoning Valley. RHP Nick Howard (1-1, 4.08), the Reds 1st round pick in 2014, will start for the Dragons. Monday’s game will have a special 1:00 PM start for Labor Day. 

Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.

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