LANSING, Mich. – Three days after his teammate at the University of Michigan, Blake Beers, struck out 11 batters in six innings, Jeff Criswell fanned 11 in 5 1/3 innings to lead the Lansing Lugnuts (18-28) to a 6-1 victory over the West Division-leading Cedar Rapids Kernels (29-17) in front
LANSING, Mich. – Three days after his teammate at the University of Michigan, Blake Beers, struck out 11 batters in six innings, Jeff Criswell fanned 11 in 5 1/3 innings to lead the Lansing Lugnuts (18-28) to a 6-1 victory over the West Division-leading Cedar Rapids Kernels (29-17) in front of 8,205 on a Grand Slam School Day Tuesday at Jackson® Field™.
Former Kernel Gabriel Maciel delivered a go-ahead two-run double and Tyler Soderstrom and Lazaro Armenteros homered for the Lugnuts, playing their first home game since May 15 after two weeks on the road.
Criswell struck out three Kernels in the first inning, two in the second inning, one in the third – where he allowed a solo home run to Anthony Prato, supplying the Kernels’ only run – three in the fourth, one in the fifth and one in the sixth inning before he departed in favor of Daniel Martinez.
Martinez then whiffed both Alerick Soularie and Wander Javier, stranding two Kernels on base, on his way to pitching two scoreless innings in relief.
Trayson Kubo recorded the final five outs with two more strikeouts, bringing the Cedar Rapids lineup’s total strikeout number to 16.
Trailing 1-0 entering the bottom of the fifth, Patrick McColl and Joshwan Wright drew consecutive walks from Kernels starter Cade Povich. Povich struck out Drew Swift and was hooked from the game in favor of Derek Molina. On Molina’s first pitch, Maciel – who had played for the Kernels in 2018, 2019 and 2021 before getting selected in the Rule 5 Draft Minor League portion in December – tripled home McColl and Wright for a 2-1 lead. Austin Beck followed with a sacrifice fly, bringing in Maciel, before Soderstrom crushed his team-leading 10th home run of the season out to right-center, a 417-foot shot, for a 4-1 advantage.
Armenteros added insurance with a 442-foot two-run blast to center field in the eighth inning off of former Oakland Golden Grizzly Tyler Palm.
The two longballs give Lansing 29 homers at home in just 22 games.
The second game of the six-game series falls on a Dog Days of Summer Wednesday, with dogs welcome to Jackson® Field™. Gates open at 6 p.m. with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. between Lugnuts right-hander Osvaldo Berrios (7.40 ERA) and Kernels right-hander Sawyer Gipson-Long (2.15 ERA). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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