EAST LAKE, OH - After their first three games where runs were at a premium, the BlueClaws and the Lake County Captains had an old-fashioned slug-fest at Classic Park on Monday night. The BlueClaws (2-3) put up 16 hits in an 11-9 victory.
With the game tied at two going into the bottom of the third inning, the BlueClaws and Captains got offensive. Against BlueClaws starter Jacob Diekman, the Captains (1-4) put up five runs in the inning, marking the second time in as many games the BlueClaws have allowed five runs in an inning.
After starting the inning with a strikeout, Diekman then allowed five base runners to reach in a row, highlighted by Abner Abreu’s second RBI double of the game. With one out in the inning, Diekman was lifted in favor of Jon Velasquez who recorded the last two outs of the inning and allowed a run to score on a sacrifice fly.
Down 7-2, the BlueClaws fired back in the top of the fourth with almost as many runs as they have scored all season. In his first at-bat of the inning, d’Arnuad singled to lead off the inning as the first of six straight BlueClaws to reach base. Included in the six, was Jim Murphy’s first home run of the season and Zach Collier’s second double of the year. Starter TJ McFarland (0-1) was then taken out of the game for David Roberts, who allowed another two hits, including a second to d’Arnaud in the inning. The BlueClaws tallied seven runs in the inning and took a 9-7 lead.
In the sixth inning, the BlueClaws scored the way their lineup is built to score runs; aggressive base running and timely hitting. Harold Gracia started the inning with a base hit, before stealing second and scoring on a Mattair single. Mattair was then a menace on the bases as he singled, stole second, took third tagging up on a tough fly ball in the infield and later scored on a Troy Hanzwa RBI double. The run capped a run of nine straight runs for the BlueClaws.
Velasquez (2-0), won his second game in as many appearances, gave the BlueClaws a much needed strong outing as he went 3 2/3 innings, allowing just one run in the bottom of the sixth on a wild pitch to make the score 11-8. Santo Hernandez, getting his second action of the season, pitched both the seventh and eighth innings. He worked a clean seventh but allowed Mark Thompson to single home a run in the eighth to make it an 11-9 game.
Ryan Bergh was called upon to close the game and picked up his first save as he allowed just one base runner and struck out two.
The BlueClaws look to make it two in a row tomorrow night at 6:30 pm, and level their wins and loss totals in the second game of the three-game series with the Captains. On the mound for the BlueClaws, in his second start of the season, will be Opening Day starter Tyler Cloyd. He will be opposed by righty Joey Mahalic.