LANSING – The Lake County Captains saw the end to a four-game win streak on Sunday as they fell to the Lansing Lugnuts 9-2 in a rough afternoon for the Captains’ arms.
The Captains turned to their tall left-hander, Elvis Araujo (7-10, 5.00), to counter against Lansing right-hander Anthony DiSclafani (11-3, 3.37).
Lake County tallied the board first as they plated two runs in the second inning. Left fielder Bryson Myles kicked off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a double by designated hitter Jake Lowery. Catcher Alex Lavisky followed with a groundout that scored Myles and third baseman Leonardo Castillo sent a sacrifice fly into right to score Lowery, giving the Captains the 2-0 lead.
The Lugnuts responded immediately as designated hitter Kevin Patterson led off with an infield single back to the pitcher. Patterson was eliminated from the base paths as third baseman Gustavo Pierre reached first on a groundout force play before advancing to second base on a single by left fielder Chris Peters. Araujo walked shortstop Shane Opitz to load the bases and catcher Chris Schaeffer quickly emptied them with a double deep to left, boosting the Lugnuts to the 4-2 lead.
Araujo’s rough day carried over into the fourth inning as Peters started with a double. After advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt, Peters crossed the dish on a wild pitch to advance Lansing’s lead to 5-2.
Both starters were replaced in the sixth inning, ending Araujo’s line at five innings pitched, surrendering five runs (four earned) on four hits, one walk and five strikeouts. DiSclafani’s final line posted at five innings, yielding two runs on five hits, one walk and three strikeouts.
Araujo was replaced with right-hander Josh Nervis, whom the Lugnuts lashed around in the sixth. Right fielder Nick Baligold greeted Nervis with an infield single to short before Pierre unloaded a triple deep to center to score Baligold. With one out, Lansing added yet another on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Opitz, advancing the Lugnuts’ lead to 7-2.
The eighth inning wasn’t any kinder to Nervis as Peters singled up the middle and scored on a two-out, two-run bomb by Schaeffer to elevate the score to 8-2.
That was more than enough for the Lansing bullpen, which threw a combined four scoreless innings, allowing just a trio of hits to the Captains. Right-handed Ohio native Ajay Meyer closed out the ninth for the Lugnuts to preserve Lansing with the 8-2 victory.
Lowery boosted his batting average to .256 since he joined the Captains July as he went 2-for-4 on the day. The catcher has hit .314 through his last 10 games, which includes one home run five RBIs and seven walks.
Next, the Captains will turn to righty Cody Anderson (4-7, 3.20) to take on Lansing right-hander Kramer Champlin (4-1, 4.28) to conclude the regular season on Monday. The Captains will return to Lake County on Wednesday for the first game of the playoffs against the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.