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Lugnuts Beat Captains; Clinch 1st-Half Eastern Division Title


LANSING, Mich (WLMI)  Kevin Patterson walloped a two-run homer to back Marcus Walden’s five shutout innings in the Lansing Lugnuts’ (43-19) 4-1 victory over the Lake County Captains (29-32) on Sunday afternoon at Cooley Law School Stadium.

The victory matched the Lugnuts’ franchise record for wins in a half, set during the first half of the 2007 season.

For the second straight start, Walden (Win, 5-1) twirled five shutout innings. The Fresno native struck out a season-high six batters while walking one and allowing six hits.

The Lugnuts’ offense grabbed an early lead thanks to a Leonardo Castillo error at third base in the first inning. With two outs, Kevin Pillar muscled an RBI single into left and K.C. Hobson whacked an RBI double to left-center off Captain’s starter Joe Colon (Loss, 5-6.).

Four innings later, Patterson provided insurance with a 400-plus foot drive to left-center, his first roundtripper since April 29th and the first by any Lugnut since May 29th.

Colon exited after five innings in which he surrendered four runs on five hits while walking a season-high six batters.

Lake County’s bullpen tossed three scoreless innings in the losing cause and have allowed just two hits and no runs in 10 1/3 innings during this series.

The Lugs’ relievers nearly matched their counterparts, with Javier Avendano striking out five over three innings and Tyler Ybarra earned his second save by fanning a pair in the ninth inning.

In the series finale, the Lugnuts will send lefty Justin Nicolino (2-0, 0.92) to the mound looking for the sweep against righty Cody Anderson (4-3, 2.91) and the Captains on Monday.