Pujols Again Powers Lakewood to Victory
Jose Pujols homered in his third straight game Sunday, leading the host Lakewood BlueClaws past the Kannapolis (N.C.) Intimidators 7-1 in South Atlantic League play at FirstEnergy Park.
Pujols, who leads the low Class A circuit with 13 homers, has homered in three straight games for the second time this season for the Philadelphia Phillies’ farm team.
Lakewood won three of four games against the Intimidators, a Chicago White Sox affiliate, and finished the first half of the season at 29-40. Lakewood has won five of its last seven games.
Kannapolis (23-47) wound up the first half with losses in 10 of its last 11 games.
Tyler Gilbert (3-7) earned the win, throwing five scoreless innings and allowing five hits while striking out five in front of 7,457 Father’s Day customers.
The BlueClaws took a 1-0 first-inning lead on an RBI double by Jiandido Tromp. He extended his hitting streak to 14 games, breaking a tie with Wilson Garcia for longest hitting streak by a Lakewood player this season.
Lakewood erupted for five runs in the fifth. Tromp and Josh Tobias hit RBI singles before Pujols homered.
Kannapolis starter Jonathan Frebis (4-6) allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings of work for the loss.
Grenny Cumana, Tromp and Tobias each had two hits for Lakewood. Tromp plated two runs. Pujols drove in three.
NEWSY NOTES: Lakewood right-hander Luke Leftwich was third in the league in earned run average (2.00) and first in strikeouts (88) through the first half of the season. … Tromp was in a three-way tie for third in the league in doubles (20). … Lakewood was third in the 14-team league in batting (.265) and 12th in earned run average (4.15). … The BlueClaws finished in sixth place in the seven-team Northern Division. … Lakewood led the league in total home attendance (170,263) and was second in average attendance per game (4,865) through 35 openings. .. The BlueClaws will begin the second half of the season Thursday night when they visit the Greenville (S.C.) Drive, a Boston Red Sox farm team. … The SAL utilizes a split-season format.