Special to the Herald
GENEVA, Ill. —
The LumberKings scored four times in the first inning and cruised to a 9-2 win over Kane County Monday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
Coupled with Peoria’s loss, Clinton holds a two game lead in the chase for the final playoff spot in the Western Division.
The first five reached in the opening inning as Brock Hebert and Alfredo Morales started the game with back-to-back walks. Dario Pizzano drove in the first run, scoring Hebert on a base hit up the middle. D.J. Peterson followed with a wall-banging double, scoring Morales to make it 2-0.
Marcus Littlewood walked to load the bases for Taylor Ard who delivered the third run with a sac fly. After Gaby Guerrero lined a base hit to left, Janelfry Zorrilla knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice.
A two-out rally in the third inning put three more runs on the board. Guerrero, Zorrilla, Martin Peguero and Brock Hebert had consecutive hits. Peguero drove in a run and Hebert’s knock to left drove in a pair to make it 7-0.
Meanwhile, lefty Tyler Pike returned to the Clinton rotation. The 19-year-old tossed two scoreless innings in his first action in three weeks. Rigoberto Garcia worked in relief for the first time and threw six solid innings. The lone runs he allowed were in the fourth inning, on a two-run single by Rock Shoulders.
Garcia earned the win, his first with Clinton this year. Peralta was tagged with nine earned runs and the loss.
The win gave Clinton Manager Eddie Menchaca his 190th victory as Clinton skipper. The win put him alone in fourth place on the all-time list, in front of current Tigers Manager Jim Leyland.
The series wraps today in Kane County. The LumberKings send left-hander Steven Ewing (0-0, 0.00) in his Midwest League debut while the Cougars send right-hander Tyler Skulina (0-1, 6.14). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.