Behind a strong start from Seth Lugo, the Gnats evened the best-of-five SAL Championship Series at 1-1. The series now shifts back to Savannah for games three and four Thursday and Friday, and if necessary game five Saturday.
Austin Voth, who the Nationals drafted in the fifth round in 2013, lost it in the second inning. With one out, he walked three batters in a row. C Jeff Glenn battled in a long at-bat and on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, drilled a double into right-center field to drive home two runs. Birthday boy Philip Evans followed with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Gnats made it 5-0 in the fifth behind RBI doubles from 1B Cole Frenzel and Glenn. Glenn finished 3-4 with two doubles and 3 RBI. Frenzel was 2-4, with a double, a walk and two runs scored.
The 21-year-old Glenn hit .196/.303/.276 in 70 games for the Gnats in the regular season. He had one three-hit game, on April 24 and zero two extra-base hit games. As playoff offensive heroes go, he’s almost as unlikely as it gets on the Gnats.
On the hill, Seth Lugo (pictured) lived a little dangerously, stranding two runners in three of four innings from the second through fifth innings before finishing six scoreless innings. He fanned seven, walked one and allowed five hits in his six scoreless innings. It wasn’t fancy. He threw lots of fastballs. He did not use his slider much. I had him right at 100 pitchers. He took a line drive off his side/arm in the third but stayed in the game. It was a tough performance.
The Gnats, who were held to four singles in game one, had three doubles and a triple on Tuesday while seven of the Suns’ eight hits were singles. Breaking news: extra-base hits help a team score runs.
The Gnats are in a pretty good spot, heading home to Historic Grayson Stadium with the series tied at 1-1 and Gabriel Ynoa and Steven Matz lined up for games three and four with each guy on extra rest. The Gnats were 45-25 at home during the 2013 season, a .643 winning percentage, the best in the SAL.
CF Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-3 with a walk and a sacrifice fly in the eighth with three of his five plate appearances against lefties. In four playoff games, he’s hit .308/.444/.462 (4-for-13 with a triple and four walks).
2B Dilson Herrera: 0-4, 2 K, BB, R. He’s 2-for-15 in the Gnats’ four playoff games.