Lukes Doubles Up, Krieger Cruising, and More in the Captains’ Log
Bob Toth | On 30, May 2016
After a very difficult series against the South Bend Cubs last weekend, the Lake County Captains needed to right the ship and did briefly, sweeping a three-game set during the week with the Dayton Dragons before returning home and losing two of three to Fort Wayne, despite outscoring the TinCaps in the series, 19-16, so far.
The Indians’ Class-A affiliate heads into play this week with a 28-22 record, sporting identical 14-11 records at home and on the road. Their recent struggles, combined with nine wins in their last ten games by the Cubs, have knocked the Captains four games off of the pace in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division and into the third spot in the standings.
The Captains will aim for a split with the TinCaps in Monday’s 1:00 PM start, looking to avoid losing a third consecutive home series at Classic Park. They will then welcome in the Bowling Green Hot Rods for three games before a brief road trip to take on the Great Lakes Loons. They will follow that series with a return trip to Eastlake for another six-game homestand.
In other news in the Captains’ log:
GIVE ME TEN
Second baseman Tyler Krieger has made the Indians’ decision to draft him in the fourth round of last year’s draft a no-brainer. He extended his hitting streak to ten straight games with a single in Sunday’s loss to Fort Wayne.
It is already the second time this season that Krieger has put together a hitting streak of ten games or more. His batting average has climbed from .314 to .331 during this most recent hot stretch at the plate and he is the Indians’ minor league leader in hits this season with 59.
Entering Monday’s series finale with the TinCaps, he is 6-for-13 with a double, a triple, and three RBI. On Saturday, he nearly hit for the cycle against them, falling just a home run short in the big 14-4 win by the Captains. He scored twice and drove in two runs while reaching base safely three times in five at bats.
MARABELL NARROWLY MISSES CYCLE, TOO
Connor Marabell just missed a cycle on Saturday as well, falling a homer short of the feat. He tripled home two runs in the third inning, singled in the fifth, and provided an RBI-double in the sixth inning.
In his final at bat, he drew a walk.
HARTSON SAVES THE BULLPEN
Reliever and occasional starter Brock Hartson stepped up big on Sunday to save the Captains bullpen in the club’s 9-4 loss. He went five and two-thirds scoreless innings on the mound, allowing just three hits while striking out a pair. He threw 46 of his 60 pitches for strikes in the no-decision after starter Sam Hentges was charged with nine runs (eight earned) on ten hits in three and one-third innings.
Hartson has appeared in nine games this season with two starts and one complete game (six innings). He lowered his ERA from 3.48 to 2.95, his WHIP from 1.13 to 1.04, and his batting average against from .248 to .234 with his near “quality” bullpen appearance.
LUKES LIKES HIS DOUBLES
Outfielder Nathan Lukes had three doubles and knocked home four runs in a 9-5 victory on Thursday over the Dragons to complete a three-game sweep in Dayton. Lukes was big in the series for the Captains in general, going 6-for-13 in the three wins with three doubles, seven RBI, and a run scored to boost his batting average 13 points.
He has followed up the strong series with a pair of multi-hit games against Fort Wayne. He now has a multi-game hitting streak of four games and a five-game hitting streak overall. He is hitting .323 on the season with a .402 on-base percentage. His 54 hits on the year are second in the Indians farm system.
CASTRO FOR THREE
Shortstop Willi Castro took over the organizational lead in triples after hitting a pair in Tuesday’s win in Dayton. Like Lukes, the 19-year-old had a big series in southern Ohio, going 5-for-14 with a double, two triples, and two RBI and ended the series on a five-game hitting streak, one that came to an end in the series opener on Friday against Fort Wayne.
The Captains welcomed their four millionth fan to Classic Park on Friday with special fan giveaways and postgame fireworks. Lake County, however, was not able to deliver a win, dropping a 3-2 decision to Fort Wayne in their series opener.
Lefty Matt Whitehouse, who had put up impressive numbers in the Lake County bullpen, headed south to Virginia to join the relief corps of the Lynchburg Hillcats on Tuesday. Pitcher Jared Robinson returned to the Captains on Wednesday after his brief stay with the Hillcats. He had previously joined the High-A Indians affiliate the previous Friday.
The Captains also activated pitcher Cortland Cox from the seven-day disabled list last Monday.
Photo: Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer