I have to admit I was worried that Sunday’s Loons-Lugnuts game would be another wet one. Fortunately, the rain that fell all morning ended shortly before game time, the sun came out, and it turned out to be a beautiful day at Dow Diamond.
It wasn’t as beautiful for pitchers, who collectively gave up 16 walks and 11 runs in Lansing’s 9-2 win over Great Lakes. Neither starting pitcher had his best stuff. Loons SP Jarret Martin gave up only one hit, but also six walks and six runs (five earned) while striking out two batters in 2.1 innings. His one hit allowed was a grand slam by Kevin Pillar that came after Martin walked the bases loaded.
Lugnuts SP Aaron Sanchez fared better, giving up two hits and an unearned run, but also a career-high five walks. He struck out five batters.
In 14 games (7 starts), Sanchez is 6-0 with a 0.77 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 47 IP.
SS Andy Burns also homered for the Lugnuts and started a game-ending double play worthy of a highlight reel. Burns glove-flipped a ground ball to 2B Shane Opitz, who barehanded it and threw to 1B K.C. Hobson to complete the double dip.
Loons RP Juan Rodriguez pitched the last two innings for Great Lakes and was their only hurler who didn’t give up a run to the Lugnuts.
The Lugnuts finished the first half with a 47-22 record. That is the most wins the 17-year-old franchise has ever posted in a half. Lansing has the best record in the Midwest League and began the season with seven straight wins.
The Midwest League All-Star Game will be played Tuesday at Kane County’s Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. I wrote about the rosters here.