EASTLAKE, OH – The Lake County Captains (14-9, 41-52) continued to swing a hot bat on Sunday night as they piled up 18 hits in a 9-7 win over the Great Lakes Loons (11-12, 45-48). The Captains have won five-straight games, their longest winning streak since June of 2013.
Lake County used a six-run second inning to take early control of the game as nine men batted against Loons’ starter Jonathan Martinez. Catcher Eric Haase led off with a single, moved to second on a single and scored on right fielder Jorge Martinez’s RBI single.
Designated hitter Brian Ruiz doubled home another run. With runners on second and third, center fielder Clint Frazier singled home two runners for a 4-0 lead. Shortstop Paul Hendrix ended the scoring with a two-run homer to right field, his ninth of the campaign. The Captains have now homered in thirteen straight games.
In the fourth, the Loons added another run to cut the lead to four. First baseman Josmar Cordero was hit by a one-out pitch from Mitch Brown. Two batters later, designated hitter Webster Rivas doubled home Cordero before being thrown out at third base to end the inning by Frazier.
Lake County pushed the lead back to six with two more runs in the fourth inning. Ruiz left the yard with his first professional homerun to right field. After two singles, Hendrix singled home a run but was thrown out going to second on the throw home.
The Loons scored three runs in the fifth inning to chase Brown from the game. Navin singled, moved to second on a wild pitch before second baseman Jesmuel Valentin walked. Santana doubled both runners home to end Brown’s night. Alexis Paredes entered with one on and one out. Paredes uncorked a wild pitch, moving Santana to third. Santana scored on fielding error by Paredes.
Brown got a no-decision after allowing five runs on five hits in four and one third innings. He walked two batters and fanned five while also hitting a batter.
Martinez took the loss, his fifth of the year, after he gave up eight runs on thirteen hits in four innings of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out two. Ralston Cash entered and worked around two hits in the fifth.
Paredes ran into trouble in the seventh inning as the Loons pulled within a run. Two hit batters and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. Right fielder Joey Curletta and third baseman Paul Hoenecke each singled home a run.
Paredes did not retire a batter in the seventh as the first five batters reached. Carlos Melo entered and got the final three outs to keep the game at 8-7.
Paredes improved to 3-1 on the year despite giving up two runs on two hits, one walk and two hit batters in one and two third innings.
The Captains gained an insurance run in the seventh inning. Hendrix reached base for the fourth time as he walked to lead off. He moved to second on a groundout, and advanced to third on a single. The Loons made a pitching change to bring in Jordan Hershiser. Hershiser gave a sacrifice fly to left fielder Dorssys Paulino, the first batter he faced. Cash allowed one run on four hits in two and one third innings.
Trevor Frank worked around a double to earn his ninth save of the year with a scoreless ninth. Carlos Melo finished with two scoreless innings.
In the game, the Captains doubled up the Loons with 18 hits to the visitor’s nine. Every starter for Lake County got at least one hit. Four players-Frazier, Hendrix, Haase and Ruiz all had three-hit games.
The Captains will conclude a seven-game home stand and the four game series with Great Lakes with the series finale on Monday night. Captains RHP Jordan Milbrath (2-9, 3.51) will take on RHP Scott Barlow (3-3, 3.75) for the Loons. First pitch from Classic Park is at 7:00 PM.