Lugnuts Take Seventh Straight

Butler hit the go-ahead three run homer

Let this game be a notice to the rest of the Midwest League. When you have this Lansing team down, do not count them out. This fact has become painfully clear to the Cedar Rapids Kernels as Lansing defeated them by a score of 9-7 on Friday night. The victory gives the Lugnuts a sweep of the four game series over the Kernels and concludes their eight game home stand with a 7-1 record.

"It feels really good", stated Lugnut catcher Josh Bell. "To win seven in a row is real big and hopefully we will carry it onto the road trip".

It appeared that the Lugnuts would run away with this one early as they scored two runs in the first inning and three more in the second, giving them an early 5-0 lead. Sean Shoffit scored two of the five runs for the Lugnuts.

Cedar Rapids proved that they were far from dead as they stormed back with a five-run fifth inning that saw them sending nine guys to the plate. Lansing starter Kristian Bell gave up all five runs in the inning as he struggled locating his pitches. Bell walked three batters in the inning and also threw a wild pitch that allowed a run to score. Sean Stidfole came out of the pen with two outs in the fifth to halt the Cedar Rapids rally.

"It was a learning experience for him", stated Lansing manager Ken Joyce about Kristian Bell's struggles in the fifth. "The biggest difference for him was that once they started getting runners on base and they started to score, he started to pitch away from contact".

The score stayed knotted at five until the eighth inning when Cedar Rapids scored twice. Patrick Reilly got things going for the Kernels as he led the inning off with a single. Reilly later scored on a double by Anaheim's 2005 18th round draft pick Mark Trumbo. Following a wild pitch on a strikeout, that would advance Trumbo to third and Larry Infante to first, Cedar Rapids lead off hitter Brad Coon singled to left scoring Trumbo. Infante also tried to score on the play, but Lansing left fielder Brian Pettway threw a strike to Josh Bell which gunned down Infante. The damage was done however as Lansing entered the bottom half of the eight down by the score of 7-5.

The Kernels lead would be short lived. Josh Bell got the inning started by crushing his third home run of the year deep to left center.

"I was just looking for a good pitch to drive. He threw a 1-0 slider up there and it went out," stated Bell.

Following a Yuber Rodriguez walk and a Jesus Gonzalez single, Jacob Butler stepped to the plate with two outs in the eighth inning, and put the Lugnuts in the lead for good as he smocked a three run homer to left, putting the Nuts up 9-7.

Yesson Berroa, came in to close it in the ninth. Berroa had an easy 1-2-3- inning, recording two strikeouts.

For the record: Lansing improves to 17-5 on the season (11-2 at home) keeping them 2.5 games over second place West Michigan. Yesson Berroa picks up the win and runs his record to 1-1 on the season, while Cedar Rapids reliever Chris Howell would take the loss and fall to 1-1.

Transactions: Prior to Friday night's game, Lansing third basemen Chris Gutierrez was the first player to be promoted for the Lugnuts this season as he was sent to Dunedin. Dunedin reserve infielder Anthony Hatch was sent from Dunedin to take Gutierrez's spot on the roster. Hatch was in uniform for Lansing on Friday night, but did not see game action.

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