LAKEWOOD – Trevor May struck out 12 through six innings Wednesday night, as the BlueClaws topped the Greensboro Grasshoppers 7-4.
May improved to 6-2 since joining the Claws on July 4th, letting up three runs on seven hits. He also did not issue a walk.
The BlueClaws are now 13-2 this season coming off two losses in a row.
Six errors were committed in the game, five by the Grasshoppers (25-26). Their sloppy defense helped Lakewood (31-20) draw first blood in the second inning.
With one out Stephen Batts was hit by a pitch from starter Erick Carrillo (5-6), Jeremy Barnes reached on a throwing error by third baseman Chase Austin, and Korby Mintken walked to load the bases.
Keoni Ruth followed with a sac-fly RBI, and Jiwan James reached on routine grounder that snuck through second baseman Wes Long’s legs to put the Claws up 2-0.
Lakewood extended the lead to three in the third. Sebastian Valle hit a grounder to Carillo, whose errant throw put the BlueClaws catcher on with one out. Valle then stole second and went to third after catcher Carlos Paulino’s pick-off throw sailed into right-center. Valle eventually came in on a Stephen Batts ground out to give the Claws a 3-0 edge.
A fourth inning Jeff Corsaletti solo shot cut the lead to two, but Valle answered in the bottom half with a two-run blast to left of his own to reestablish a four run cushion.
Valle leads the BlueClaws with 16 homers, and is second on the team with 71 RBIs.
RBI singles by Kyle Jensen and Kyle Skipworth in the sixth again cut into the Claws lead, but Lakewood would add two of their own in the bottom of the inning thanks to more lackluster Hoppers defense.
Keoni Ruth started the sixth by taking a breaking ball to the back. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and went to third on a James single. Leandro Castro then hit a chopper to shortstop Jose Torres whose throw eluded Long at second, plating Ruth and James.
A Corsaletti RBI ground out in the eighth put the score at 7-4, but after Justin Beal loaded the bases Mike McGuire got Chase Austin to fly out to center and threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save of the season.
Thursday night at 7:05 pm RHP Josh Zeid (6-4, 2.74) will face Hoppers RHP Robert Morey (0-2, 2.36).
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