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Lake County Sentinel
Big night by Valera not enough as Captains fall to Lugnuts 5-3   
          BY TIM SHIRER
(EASTLAKE, OH) – The Lake County Captains and Lansing Lugnuts played game four of their six game series on Friday night. The Lugnuts came out on top 5-3 sending the 2.503 fans at Classic Park home unhappy.

The scoring began immediately as the Lugnuts got on the in the top of the first inning after Captains starter Daniel Espino retired the leadoff batter on fly ball, he issued a base on balls to the next batter Patrick McColl. He then struck out William Simoneit and on the third strike McColl stole second. It looked as though Espino might escape any damage until Jared McDonald came to the plate and laced a double to centerfield driving home McColl with the first run of the game.

The Captains struck back in the bottom of the inning when with one out Jose Tena and Micah Pries had back-to-back singles putting runners at the corners. George Valera then sent a long fly ball to center field for a sacrifice and Tena trotted home tying the game 1-1.

The Captains took the lead briefly in the bottom of the second inning when Angel Lopez tripled with one out. He then trotted home when Raynel Delgado hit a sacrifice fly and Lopez flew home with the Captains second run of the game. 

The Lugnuts tied the game 2-2 in the third inning when Jordan Diaz took Espino deep for a solo home run. The long ball was Diaz’s 10th of the season.
The Lugnuts sealed the win in the fifth inning with three runs off Espino, only two of the three were earned but the big blow came when Diaz belted his second home run of the game, a three-run shot and gave the Lugnuts a 5-2 lead.

The Captains scored their third and the final run of the game in the game in the sixth inning when Valera belted his 11th home run of the season deep over the center field fence.

Lugnuts starter Colin Peluse picked up the win. Peluse, a righty went five and two thirds’ innings allowing two runs both earned on three hits. He issued one base on balls and struck out six Captains hitters. With the win Peluse improves to 6-3 with a 3.50 ERA. Charles Hall picked up his sixth save of the season pitching a scoreless ninth inning. Espino took the loss for the Captains pitching five innings allowing five runs, four earned on five hits. He issued two base on balls and struck out 10 Lugnuts. Espino commented after the game that he made mistakes on the two home runs, but also said you must give the hitters credit for taking advantage of the mistakes. With the loss Espino falls to 0-3 with a 6.50 ERA.

With the loss the Captains remain one game back in the playoff race behind the Great Lakes Loons and Cedar Rapids Kernels.

The two teams will play game five of the series on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. RHP Shohei Tomioka will be on the mound for the Lugnuts. Tomioka is 3-5 with a 4.73 ERA. The Captains will counter with their own righthander Hunter Gaddis. Gaddis, is 3-6 with a 4.73 ERA. 
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @TBBucsTim Check out our IndiansNation fan Page
​POSTED 08/07/2021 00:36
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Lake County Captains Outfielder George Valera. Photo by Tim Shirer