Your First Place LumberKings
Some notes from the homestand thus far:
Lorin Fans 10, Kings Win Again: Right-hander Brett Lorin struck out 10 batters over 6.0 innings and the LumberKings capitalized on four Wisconsin errors in last night’s 8-4 win over the Timber Rattlers. Lorin (W, 2-0) retired 14 of the first 16 he faced before making his only mistake of the game…Edgar Trejo took him deep to left for a solo home run. By then, the Kings had already mounted a 3-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by Scott Savastano and a run-scoring error by Rattlers pitcher Dan Merklinger (L, 0-1). Clinton added two more runs against Liam Ohlmann in the sixth, one on Nate Tenbrink’s sacrifice fly to left and another on Wisconsin’s third error. Right-hander Cheyne Hann gave up a pair of runs in the eighth inning as the lead was cut to 6-3, but Tenbrink answered again with his second RBI, this time on a groundout. Righty Blake Nation allowed a ninth-inning home run to Michael Vass, but nothing more over the final 1.2 innings as Clinton improved to 6-2.
Number One Spot: Though early, the LumberKings tied themselves for first place in the West with last night’s win. Cedar Rapids fell 7-1 to Kane County for just their second loss to drop to 6-2. Today marks Clinton’s fourth day tied for first place, their first since 4/13. The 2008 LumberKings held the first-place spot for 49 days straight in the first half, going on to finish with the Midwest League’s best record at 78-59.
Rotation Domination: Last night’s stellar outing by Brett Lorin was his second straight quality start (6.0 IP, less than 3 ER). The 10 strikeouts were just three off his career high (13 in a win against Boise on 6/22/08)…he’s now first in the Midwest League in strikeouts with 16. The second win also ties him alongside teammate Steven Hensley and six others for the league lead in victories. Lorin, Hensley and tonight’s starter Aaron Pribanic have combined to go 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA (2 ER / 28.2 IP), three walks and 30 strikeouts. Overall, Clinton’s starting rotation is 4-2 with a 1.89 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 38.1 innings.
Home Cookin’: The LumberKings’ offense has set new season highs in runs scored in consecutive games here at Alliant Energy Field…after scoring seven runs on a season-high 10 hits Thursday night, the Kings plated eight runs on eight hits last night. The club is hitting .253 (37-for-146) on the homestand, including seven doubles, four triples, two home runs (Nate Tenbrink and Travis Howell, both on Thursday) and 17 RBI. Clinton’s four triples this homestand are more than 11 of the other 13 MWL teams have total this season.
Hit Men: A 2-for-5 effort last night extended Scott Savastano’s hitting streak to a team-high tying five games. He’s hitting .471 (8-for-17) with five runs scored and two RBI during the streak, and has hit in six of seven games overall this year. His .409 average is sixth-best in the league. Travis Howell is in the midst of a three-game hitting streak (4-for-10, .400), including a HR…he’s tied for second in the league in home runs (2).