On this Fourth of July celebration, Matt Chavez provided his own fireworks for the Wichita Wingnuts Monday night, hitting a three-run homerun and driving in four in the team’s 7-1 victory over the Laredo Lemurs. The victory also saw Tim Brown pitch seven scoreless innings in winning his third straight game.
This was a contest that the Wingnuts dominated practically from the start. Neither team scored in the first, but Wichita changed that in the second. Martin Medina led off the inning with a double and came around to score when Chavez followed with a double of his own. Two batters later Harris Kain doubled to score Chavez and it was 2-0.
In the bottom of the third, Wichita extended their lead thanks to Chavez. A one out double by Brent Clevlen got the rally started and two batters later Medina walked. That put two on with two outs for Chavez, who had been 4-14 since returning from the DL. This was one of the most impressive at-bats you will ever see. Chavez fell behind 1-2, then fouled of eight pitches, including seven in a row, to work the count to 2-2. He then took the next offering from Joe Testa and drilled it for his third homer of the year.
In the fourth it was time for Harrison Kain to provide some fireworks of his own. Danny Moskovits relieved Testa and Kain was the first batter he faced. The Wingnuts outfielder turned on a 2-1 offering and drilled it for his second homer of the year. That made the score 6-0.
While his team was staking him to a huge lead, Brown was simply handcuffing the Lemurs lineup. He allowed lone singles in the first and second innings, but got to work himself out of two-out jam in the third. Drew Martinez tripled with two-outs, and Cesar Valera followed with a walk. Denis Phipps fell behind 1-2, but fouled off two pitches to stay alive. Brown then got him to ground out to end the threat.
That out started a sting of seven straight batters he retired. Drew Martinez ended the run with a single to start the sixth, but he was erased on a double-play. Brown would allow one more single in the seventh, but that would be all the offense that Laredo could muster.
Brown (5-2) was done after 7-innings. He allowed 5-hits and just 1-walk. He also struck out 2. The Wingnuts right-hander has allowed just 4-earned runs in his last 20-innings pitched.
In the seventh inning, each team scored a run. The Laredo Lemurs got a run against Jesse Pratt when a wild pitch scored Alvaro Rondon. Wichita recorded their final run on a single by Clevlen that was followed by a double by T.J. Mittelstaedt. That would be the final run of the contest.
Chavez finished 3-4 with 2-runs and 4-RBI. Kain was 2-3 with a run and 2-RBI. Clevlen also had 2-hits and scored twice. Martinez was one of three Lemurs players that had 2-hits in the game.
These two teams continue their three-game series tomorrow night. Alex Boshers (3-3, 3.99) goes for the Wichita Wingnuts against Ryan Beckman (3-4, 2.74). Game time is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier