BY JUSTIN LADA
(EASTLAKE, OH) - Whether the flip of the calendar has anything to do with it or not, Joe Colon has certainly fit the term “April showers bring May flowers”. Colon is blooming in the month of May, coinciding with the Captains run back into contention. His strong start coupled with a beaming night from Francisco Lindor keyed a 6-3 Captains win over the Great Lakes Loons.
Colon in the month of May now in three starts is 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA. Monday night was no different.
The 6’0 167 right hander from Caguas, Puerto Rico went 8.1 innings, and ended up being charged with all three of the Loons runs that came in the ninth inning. He allowed seven hits, struck four. For the second time in 2012 Colon did not issue a single walk.
His ability to keep runners off the bases via free pass and helped by three double plays, put Colon at 67 pitches coming into the ninth inning.
“I wanted to keep going. From the beginning I think I’m going to go nine innings”, Colon says of his efficiently dominant start.
Colon said he has been working on controlling the tempo of the game from the mound which has maximized his efficiency as of late.
“Pitch count was the only thing that brought him out of the game”, said Captains manager Dave Wallace of his pitcher.
“I hated that we weren’t able to finish it for him at the end, I wanted it badly for him”, Wallace says of the Colon going for a complete game.
Complete games are a rarity in minor league baseball, let alone at the Low-Class A level. The Captains had two complete games last season, neither were of the nine inning variety however.
Colon’s fellow countrymen and humble shortstop, Lindor, backed him with five runs batted in on the evening.
“Honestly I did not even know that. That’s not what I care about, I care about getting the W”, Lindor said of his spectacular game at the plate.
The home run came via a Ryan O’Sullivan fastball in the third inning. It was a three run home run to right field that landed just near the picnic tables, about 12 feet past the right field fence.
“I thought it was a fly ball, sacrifice fly and just carried”, Lindor said of his home run off the Loons right handed pitcher who took the loss.
O’Sullivan, other than Lindor’s round tripper pitched a pretty decent game but was backed by a less than stellar defense.
In the fourth inning the Captains tacked on three more runs, all unearned thanks to three straight errors by Loons defenders.
Jarrod Sabourin led off the inning reaching on a fielding error by Loons shortstop Pedro Guererro. Robel Garcia and Leonardo Castillo both reached on errors by Loons infielders.
From there the Captains hitters took advantage of the situation they were in. Luigi Rodriguez would single and Lindor would follow with a two run double. Bryson Myles singled to follow Lindor but Rodriguez, trying to score from score on the hit and was thrown out at home. The Captains still managed to plate three runs after they were given three free passes to lead the inning off.
The Loons did notch three straight hits off of Colon in the ninth inning. He struck out left fielder Scott Schebler looking and then was removed in favor of Grant Sides.
Sides allowed a triple to center fielder Noel Cuevas that plated two Loons and then a sac fly from O’Koyea Dickson allowed the third run. Sides allowed Joe Winker to double but did retire Jesse Bosnik on pop up to end the game.
The win was the Captains ninth in 12 games. They have won five of their last six. After being mired in a 10 game losing streak in April, the win takes them to a game under .500 at 18-19 and could very well soon pass the Loons who fell to 20-18.
“We feel with the talent on this team we were going to win games if we continue to work hard”, Wallace said of the teams recent improvement.
While Wallace says at the end of the day wins and losses aren’t as important as making these players better and continuing their development, they do expect to win games because of the talent of this ball club.
“We believe in ourselves. We know we can do it. We have to keep working hard”, Lindor says of the confident locker room that never wavered and has carried the team back from being 3-11 before snapping their 10 game losing streak.
The Captains host the Great Lakes Loons one more time on this home stand before heading to South Bend on Thursday.
At 11:00 am from Classic Park it will be Cody Anderson (3-1 2.25) on the mound for the Captains.
The Loons will send Gustavo Gomez (4-1 3.74) to try and salvage a win in the series.
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POSTED 05/162012 00:21