Pitching Duel Ended By Lakewood Offense

The Lakewood Blue Claws defeated the Hickory Crawdads 5-0 in front of 5,204 fans at FirstEnergy Park. Carlos Carrasco got the win for Lakewood, improving to 1-3 on the season. Luis Valdez took the loss for Hickory in relief behind starter Kyle Pearson.

The game was knotted at zeroes through the first seven and a half innings before the BlueClaws offense exploded for their combined run output from both games of the double-header the day before. Carlos Carrasco pitched a gem, giving the Claws eight strong innings before Kyle Allen came in and closed the door in the ninth to seal the deal and the win for the BlueClaws. Carrasco said through an interpeter after the game that his breaking ball was really working for him. Manager PJ Forbes said, "This is the Carlos I saw in Spring Training and the Carlos I thought we were bringing north with us. I'm glad we were able to get some runs in the eighth and get him a win cause he really deserved it tonight."

The BlueClaw offense was stymied all night against Crawdad starter Kyle Peterson, but they put the bats to good use against Luis Valdez. Valdez sat down Lakewood without much fanfare in the seventh, but in his second inning of work in the eighth, Lakewood made him pay. In fact, the BlueClaws batted around for the first time all season, as they scored five in the eighth , for the only runs scored by either team in the game.

Sean Gamble got the inning started with an infield single and advanced to second on a ground out by Brandon Harman, but then the real damage was done. The next four BlueClaw batters reached base before Valdez was lifted in favor of Jean Garavito. Mike Dzurilla singled to right and Lakewood had runners at the corners with one out. Sam Orr followed with the big blow of the game, a two run triple to right center that scored the first two Lakewood runs. Orr would later score on a wild pitch by Valdez to the next batter, Chris Klemm to give Lakewood a 3-0 lead. Orr said, "It feels really good to be able to help the team because these are the kind of late inning wins that build confidence and help us get on a roll."

Klemm eventually walked and the next batter, Timi Moni also reached on a walk before Valdez was sent to the showers in favor of Garavito. After striking out Kiel Fisher, Garavito allowed back to back base hits to Derek Brant and Josh Mader that allowed Klemm and Moni to score and give the BlueClaws a 5-0 lead.

Kyle Allen pitched a scoreless ninth to give the BlueClaws their seventh win in 27 attempts.

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