Herald Staff Report

CLINTON — Bobby LaFromboise did his job in his first start of the season, but the bullpen let down the former reliever Wednesday night as Clinton lost to Lansing 10-5 in Midwest League baseball at Alliant Energy Field.

The Lugnuts scored nine runs four Clinton relievers after LaFromboise left with a 2-1 lead. The loss was Clinton’s seventh in a row and left the LumberKings with a 20-20 record.

The LumberKings scored first, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Steve Moss led off with a double and moved to third base on a balk. After winning pitcher Josh Wells (2-4) struck out two batters, Mario Martinez delivered a run-scoring single.

Lansing pulled even in the top of the third on a single by Tyler Pastornicky, but Clinton reclaimed the lead in the bottom half of the inning on Denny Almonte’s ninth home run of the season, a shot into the Lumber Lounge in right field. His homer came after Maximo Mendez was caught stealing for the second out.

LaFromboise left after allowing three hits and one walk over five innings. He also had six strikeouts.

The lead disappeared quickly after he left.

Reliever Andres Esquibel (0-1) lasted just one-third of an inning in his Clinton debut, allowing four runs. A two-run single by Yohermyn Chavez put Lansing ahead to stay and a double by Mike McDade made it 4-2. Later in the inning, A.J. Jimenez hit a two-run triple off Ryan Moorer.

Clinton trimmed the deficit to 6-5 with three runs in the sixth. Travis Howell doubled home Nate Tenbrink, Martinez ripped an RBI triple and an error allowed Martinez to score.

The LumberKings stayed close until the Lugnuts scored four runs off Cheyne Hann in the top of the ninth inning. Two scored on Mark Sobolewski’s double and two more scored on a McDade home run.

The teams conclude their three-game series at 6:30 p.m. today.

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