CAPTAINS 5, BEES 2: Another early lead gets away

Photo: Burlington Bees center fielder Jordyn Adams singles to open the first inning. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)

By John Bohnenkamp

The Burlington Bees haven’t had a problem building an early lead on the Lake County Captains in the first two games of the three-game series at Community Field.

Finishing the game has been the problem.

A four-run eighth inning carried the Captains to a 5-2 win in Sunday’s Class A Midwest League game, but this game might have gotten away early when the Bees had chances to score and didn’t.

“The bottom line is the same old thing — we’re getting good pitching and we’ve gotten leads,” Bees manager Jack Howell said. “It’s that tack-on. A couple of more runs for us, and we win these games. But it’s been that way all year.”

The Bees (48-45 overall, 9-14 second half) had nine baserunners in the first three innings, but only one run scored. And after Jordyn Adams’ solo home run in the fourth, the Bees got just two walks and two singles for the rest of the game.

Bees starting pitcher Robinson Pina threw six strong innings, allowing one run on three hits. He walked two and struck out seven.

“Just great,” Howell said.

Reliever James Varela (0-1), called up from the Los Angeles Angels’ Rookie League team in Orem to provide a fresh arm, faced just four batters, striking out one, in the seventh inning. But he walked the first two hitters he faced in the eighth, ending his day.

“You want him to give you a good inning, and he did that,” Howell said. “So we send him back out for the next inning and he walks the first two guys.”

Jose Fermin’s sacrifice bunt off reliever Mayky Perez advanced both baserunners. Then Hosea Nelson hit a popup that fell between shortstop Justin Jones and left fielder Nonie Williams, and Connor Smith scored to tie the game.

Miguel Jerez followed with a bouncing single into left field to score Ruben Cardenas, then Cody Farhat’s double later in the inning drove in two more runs.

“They gave us the out with the bunt, then if we field the pop fly that’s two outs, and maybe that inning is different,” Howell said.

The Bees had a final threat in the ninth. Tim Millard singled in the ninth, then Adams singled for his third hit of the day. But Williams struck out to end the game.

Luis Araujo (2-3) was the winning pitcher.

ON DECK: The two teams conclude the series with a 6:30 p.m. game on Monday. Burlington’s Cole Duensing (5-4) will face Lake County’s Zach Draper (5-1, 2.44).

NOTES: Adams, who went 3-for-4, hit his fifth home run of the season in fourth inning. It was his first home run since May 25. … Bees pitcher Jose Soriano was placed on the injured list Sunday. Soriano, ranked the No. 11 prospect in the Angels’ organization, hasn’t pitched since June 26.

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