The Cardiac Kings Strike Again

The LumberKings achieved their seventh last at-bat win last night, beating Beloit 7-6 in the 13th inning.  Read more about the game below in today’s Game Notes.

Denny Almonte had the game-winner, a one-out single off the leg of Snappers’ pitcher Danny Rondon to score Luis Nunez

Listen to the highlight here: 
Almonte Walk-Off Single in 13th 5.14 vs. Beloit.mp3

Almonte, Kings Walk Off in 13th:  The LumberKings saw a 6-4 lead evaporate in the ninth inning, but went on to win 7-6 over the Beloit Snappers in 13 innings last night.  Denny Almonte provided the game-winning hit, singling off pitcher Danny Rondon (L, 1-2) and into right-center…Luis Nunez, who reached on a one-out single to left, scored from second on the hit.  The Kings battled back from a 4-2 deficit thanks to a sac fly by Kris Sanchez in the third inning and a Terry Serrano RBI single in the sixth.  Clinton took the lead as Almonte walked and scored on a double-play grounder from Sanchez.  Serrano added a big RBI single to center, scoring Jake Shaffer in the eighth.  Closer Ruben Flores walked two batters in the ninth, and Mario Martinez allowed them both to score, committing two errors on the same ground ball by Dominic De La Osa.  Left-hander Greg Moviel (W, 1-0) pitched a scoreless 13th for the win.  Starter Brett Lorin allowed two home runs, including a three-run blast to Jon Waltenbury in the third inning…he gave up four runs over 6.0 IP.


Cardiac Kings:  Denny Almonte became the seventh different LumberKing to record the game-winning hit in Clinton’s seven last at-bat wins this season.  He joins Israel Nunez, Ogui Diaz, Scott Savastano, Mario Martinez, Terry Serrano, and former King Ben Billingsley in the “hero” column.  The Kings have won three walk-off games at home this season, including Almonte’s extra-inning walk-off last night.  Serrano lifted the Kings to a 1-0 win over Burlington on 4/28, scoring Martinez with a walk-off double to right.  Billingsley gave the Kings a 4-3 walk-off win over Cedar Rapids on 4/15 (G2) with a double to left-center, plating Scott Savastano.


Unsung Hero:  Luis Nunez leads the LumberKings’ offense with a team-best .313 average after his 3-for-6 game last night…he’s hit in five-straight games, batting .500 (8-for-16) with three runs scored and two stolen bases during that span.  Nunez is hitting .395 (15-for-38) with three RBI so far in the month of May.


Starting a New Streak:  After seeing his team-best 11-game hitting streak come to an end on Sunday, Denny Almonte is working on a new streak…his 2-for-6, two RBI performance last night gives him a three-game hitting streak and a hit in 14 of his last 15 overall.  During that span, he’s hitting .298 (20-for-67) with five doubles, two triples, sevenhome runs, 15 runs scored and 18 RBI.  The 2nd-round pick by the Mariners in 2007, Almonte is first in the league in extra-base hits (21), second in home runs (8) and third in slugging (.611).


“Maximizing” the Offense:  Maximo Mendez lead off the first inning last night with a triple to center, his third-straight game with a leadoff three-bagger.  His seven triples lead the Midwest League and are two more than Alexi Amarista of Cedar Rapids, who is second (5). Mendez is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak, batting .320 (8-for-25) with two doubles, three triples, five runs scored and a stolen base.  His 14 steals in 19 tries are tied for second-most in the league behind Dee Gordon of Great Lakes, who leads with 19 steals.


Fast and Furious:  Thanks in part to Mendez, the LumberKings are near the top of the league in the two top speed categories…steals and triples.  The Kings have stolen 50 bases in 71 attempts (70% success rate), second only to Cedar Rapids’ 53 steals in 79 attempts (67%).  Clinton also leads the league in triples with 23, eight more than second-place Great Lakes (15 triples).  Through 32 games, the ’09 Kings are already 12 triples away from last year’s team total.  The 2008 LumberKings had 35 triples in 137 games.


Rotation Domination:  The LumberKings boast the league’s best team ERA of 2.62 thanks to a stellar starting rotation. Last night’s starter Brett Lorin dropped from the top spot in ERA to third after allowing a season-high four earned runs.  His 1.71 ERA is now behind Matt Hoffman of West Michigan (1.12) and Ben Hornbeck of Kane County (1.23).  However, Lorin did move into first in the league in innings pitched (42.0) and is now tied third in strikeouts (40).  Adam Harben broke into the top 10 in ERA today…his 2.51 ERA through 28.2 innings is 10th-best in the Midwest League.  Overall, the Clinton starting rotation is 11-7 with a 2.81 ERA.


On the Brink:  Nate Tenbrink continued his hot streak last night, going 2-for-4 with his fourth triple and a run scored…he’s hitting .308 over his last 10 games (10-for-39) with a home run, nine runs scored and nine RBI.  The seventh-round pick by the Mariners in 2008, Tenbrink has 11 multi-hit games and 15 extra-base hits.


We’ve got rain in Clinton again.  If we get this one in it’ll be on as always.


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