Lake County Captains sweep doubleheader behind 7 homers
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Lake County Captains (31-44) defeated the Bowling Green Hot Rods (34-40) in both games of a doubleheader on Wednesday by the score of 7-2 in each game. The wins gave the Captains sole possession of first place in the Midwest League Eastern division with a 5-1 record in league play.
After failing to pick up his first professional win in his first 22 career starts, Dace Kime (3-9, 5.09 ERA) won his third-consecutive start in the first game of the doubleheader. Kime went 5.1 innings, gave up six hits and two runs, walked three and struck out four.
The Captains provided Kime with some early run support with a big third inning. Second baseman Claudio Bautista started off the inning by reaching base on a throwing error by Hot Rod shortstop Pat Blair. After Bautista reached safely, shortstop Ivan Castillo singled to right, which put runners on the corners with nobody out. Right fielder Logan Vick then drove in Bautista from third with a single to right. Clint Frazier, the Indians 2013 first round pick, then delivered the big hit of the inning when he hit a three-run home run to left. The home run was Frazier's fifth of the season, and it gave the Captains the early 4-0 lead.
Lake County added another run to its lead in the top of the fourth inning when Vick hit a solo home run to right.
Bowling Green did all of its scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning. After second baseman Kean Wong led off the inning with a walk, a series of mistakes by Kime proved costly. With Hot Rod center fielder Johnny Field at the plate, Kime threw a wild pitch that allowed Wong to advance to second. Kime was then able to strike out Field; however, he threw a wild pitch that allowed Wong to go to third and Field to reach first. Left fielder Darryl Georgethen made Kime pay by hitting a ground-rule double to left that drove in Wong. After Kime struck out Oscar Hernandez, he threw another wild pitch that allowed Field to score from third. In total, Kime threw three wild pitches and allowed two runs to score, which cut the Captains’ lead to 5-2.
However, Lake County responded in the top of the fifth inning. Third baseman Paul Hendrix led off the frame with his seventh home run of the season. With two outs in the inning, left fielder Dorssys Paulino doubled to center field.Grant Fink, who is batting .346 over his last seven games, then drove in Paulino from second with a RBI single that increased the Captains lead to 7-2.
Hot Rod starter Jacob Faria (3-4, 3.82 ERA) failed to make it through the fifth inning. Faria took the loss after he pitched four and two thirds innings, gave up ten hits, seven runs, six earned runs, walked one and struck out four.
Captain relief pitcher Ben Heller relieved Kime in the sixth inning and pitched the final inning and two thirds to secure the 7-2 win for the Captains.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Lake County continued to use the long ball to its advantage.
The Captains’ first baseman Nellie Rodriguez led off the top of the second inning with his ninth home run of the season off of Hot Rod starter Jorge Rodriguez (2-4, 4.91 ERA). After Fink walked with one out, catcher Richard Stock added to Lake County's early lead with a two-run home run to right. Rodriguez then hit Captain designated hitter Brian Ruiz. Bautista then took advantage of the mistake by Rodriguez by driving in Ruiz with a RBI triple to center that gave the Captains a 4-0 advantage.
Rodriguez's day was over after just two rough innings. However, Hot Rod reliever Andrew Hanse struggled to keep the Captains off the scoreboard in the top of the third inning as well. Hendrix, who hit his seventh home run of the season in the first game of the doubleheader, greeted Hanse with a solo home run. After Paulino reached first on a fielder's choice, Fink finished Lake County's scoring for the day with a two-run home run to right. The home run was the Captains' sixth of the day, and it gave Lake County a 7-0 advantage.
Anderson Polanco, who made his first start of the season for the Captains, pitched three scoreless innings, walked two and struck out three. Because he only pitched three innings, he did not qualify for the decision.
Bowling Green was able to cut into the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. After the first two batters reached base off of Captain relief pitcher Carlos Melo, left fielder James Harris drove in Armando Araiza from third with a RBI single to center. Melo was able to pitch out of further trouble by striking out the next three Hot Rod hitters he faced.
The Hot Rods managed to score another run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Right fielder Yoel Araujo led off the frame with a single to center off of Captain reliever Alexis Paredes. After Araujo advanced to second on a fielder's choice, Spencer Edwards plated Araujo with a single. However, Paredes successfully retired Wong for the final out and secured the 7-2 win for the Captains.
Captain relief pitcher Justin Brantley (1-0, 1.17) ERA pitched two scoreless innings for the win while Rodriguez suffered his fourth loss of the season.
The Captains are set to go for the sweep against the Hot Rods Thursday evening when the teams are scheduled to conclude the series. Lake County is scheduled to start Luis Lugo (5-5, 4.50 ERA) while Bowling Green is set to counter with German Marquez (2-4, 3.99 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m.