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Lake County Sentinel
Captains pitching shuts down Lugnuts, Tena rakes in 5-1 win  
          BY TIM SHIRER
(EASTLAKE, OH) – The Lake County Captains and Lansing Lugnuts played game three of their six game series. Wednesday night the Captains defeated the Lugnuts 8-4 powered by two George Valera home runs. The Captains won their second straight defeating the Lugnuts 5-1 in front of 1,834 on hand at Classic Park.

The Captains got on the board first with two runs in the first inning when Julian Escobedo doubled off Lansing starter Reid Birlingmair to lead off the inning. Jose Tena followed that up by hitting a 440-foot home run. The home run was Tena’s tenth of the season and gave the Captains a 2-0 lead.

The Lugnuts struck back in the third inning and cut the lead in half at 2-1 when Jordan Diaz left the ballpark launching his ninth home run of the season over the centerfield fence.

No word on what the injury was or the severity of the injury, but Captains second basemen Joab Gonzalez left the game with an apparent leg injury in the fifth inning when he collided with right fielder George Valera. He did leave the field and walk to the locker room under his own power.

The Captains completed the scoring with three runs in the seventh inning. After Joe Naranjo singled to lead off the inning and Angel Lopez doubled moving Naranjo to third Victor Nova drew a base on balls to load the bases. Raynel Delgado grounded to the pitcher and Naranjo was retired at home on a fielder’s choice keeping the bases loaded for Quentin Holmes. Holmes then singled to left field driving home Lopez and Nova. Delgado moved to third on the hit and Holmes reached second on the throw to third base. Holmes was the last batter of the night for Birlingmair as he was relieved by Leudeny Pineda. Pineda did his job with the first batter he faced as he got Escobedo to ground into a fielder’s choice and Delgado was retired at home plate, leaving men on the corners for Tena. Once again Tena came through, belting a line drive to center field sending Holmes across the plate with the Captains fifth run of the night extending the lead to 5-1.

Meanwhile the Captains pitching was phenomenal allowing only two hits in the game and no-hits in the last seven and a third innings. Tanner Burns started for Lake County and went three innings in his first start after coming off the injured list. In the three innings Burns allowed one run, it was earned on two hits. He issued two base on balls and struck out six Lugnuts. A trio of bullpen relief, Jared Janczak, Nick Gallagher, and Kevin Kelly went the next six scoreless and hitless innings to preserve the win for Lake County. Janczak went three innings issuing one base on balls and struck out two to earn the win and improve to 5-0 and lower his ERA to 4.36. Gallagher picked up his fifth hold of the season pitching two clean innings striking out three hitters lowering his ERA to 4.50. Kelly worked a clean ninth inning striking out two to lower his ERA to 4.58. Birlingmair took the loss working six and one third innings allowing five runs all earned on six hits. He also issued two base on balls while striking out six Captains. With the loss the righthander falls to 3-5 with a 4.55 ERA.

With the win the Captains improve to 44-37 and remain one game behind the Great Lakes Loons for the final playoff spot in the High A-Central.

The two clubs will play game four on Friday night. Colin Peluse will be on the mound for the Lugnuts. Peluse, is 5-2 with a 3.53 ERA. Righthander Daniel Espino will make the start for Lake County. Espino, struck out 12 hitters in four innings in his last start. His record on the season with the Captains is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA. 
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @TBBucsTim Check out our IndiansNation fan Page
​POSTED 08/05/2021 22:39
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Lake County Captains Pitcher Tanner Burns.       Photo by Tim Shirer