Sugar Land Routs Lancaster, 13-4
The Sugar Land Skeeters left rookie Connor Root alone for three innings, then hammered away at the Lancaster bullpen as the Skeeters dumped the host Barnstormers, 13-4,in the rubber game of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Sugar Land once again jumped ahead of the Barnstormers in the Freedom Division race. The Skeeters trail York by two games with the Barnstormers now three out with 2 ½ weeks left to play.
Root (0-1), who pitched for the Barnstormers in spring training, was brought back to fill in the starting vacancy left when Austin Bibens-Dirkx’ contract was purchased by the Texas Rangers on Tuesday. He matched scoreless innings with Sugar Land’s Aaron Thompson (2-1) for the first three frames then left after allowing a walk to Delwyn Young and a single to Jeremy Barfield to open the fourth.
Sugar Land plated those two runs on a pair of walks and two wild pitches by Al Yevoli along with a sacrifice fly by Patrick Palmeiro.
From there, the Skeeters unleashed a merciless home run salvo against Kevin Munson, Josh Wall and Justin Jackson.
Jeff Dominguez got to Munson for a solo blast in the fifth. Young unloaded a grand slam off Wall in the sixth inning for an 8-1 lead, and Palmeiro put the game away with a two-run homer in the seventh and a three-run belt in the eighth, both off Jackson. The Sugar Land third baseman finished with six RBI on the night, the most against the Barnstormers this season.
Thompson held the Barnstormers to three singles over the first seven innings, yielding a run on a Josh Bell grounder to third in the fourth inning. He faded in the eighth as three two-out runs scored, one on an infield hit by Kevin Ahrens and the other two on a bases loaded single by Josh Whitaker.
Lancaster opens a four-game, three-day series at Long Island on Friday. The Barnstormers will send right-hander Mike Lee (2-2) to the hill against right-hander John Brownell. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:15.
NOTES: Ahrens is 10-for-13 in his last three games against Sugar Land…Travis Scott drove in his 13th run against the Barnstormers this season…The four homers and eight walks were both the most allowed by Lancaster pitching this season…Blake Gailen was 1-for-4 in his return to the lineup…Earlier in the day, the Barnstormers traded outfielder Travis Witherspoon to York for left-handed starter Kelvin De La Cruz…De La Cruz is expected to start the second game of the doubleheader at Long Island on Saturday.