The Wichita Wingnuts (63-31) beat the Lincoln Saltdogs (48-46) 8-4 at Haymarket Park on Tuesday night.
Wingnuts' starter Anthony Capra struck out 11 batters while earning the win. Wichita has now struck out 741 batters this season, breaking the American Association record set by the Laredo Lemurs in 2012 (738).
Brent Clevlen connected on a mammoth solo home run leading off the top of the third inning to give Wichita a 1-0 lead. Abel Nieves followed with a single. After Cole Armstrong was hit by a pitch, David Amberson laid down a sacrifice bunt that put runners on second and third. Two batters later, Ryan Khoury ripped a line drive single to center to extend the lead to 3-0.
Capra struck out the side in order in both the third and fifth frames. The record-breaker came against Yasel Gomez for the final out in the bottom of the fifth. Capra allowed two earned runs on three hits over six innings. Capra walked just two.
The Wingnuts made it 6-0 with three runs in the top of the fifth. C.J. Ziegler became the first player in American Association history to reach the 30-home run plateau with a solo shot to left. Clevlen reached on an error by third baseman Bryan Pounds and went to second when Nieves walked. Saltdogs' starter Moises Melendez was removed from the game due to injury. Following a double steal by Clevlen and Nieves, Armstrong singled over a drawn-in infield against reliever Travis Parker to plate two more runs.
Jake Kahaulelio hit a solo home run to left-center with one out in the top of the sixth to make it 7-0.
Lincoln first baseman Ian Gac hit a two-out, two-run homer to left in the bottom of the sixth to get the Saltdogs on the board.
Lincoln loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Junior Guerra and Daniel Bennett limited the Saltdogs to just one run on a Gomez groundball double play.
Gac homered again in the bottom of the eighth to drive in Lincoln's final run.
Andrew Aizenstadt closed out the game with a perfect bottom of the ninth.
Melendez took the loss, allowing six runs, five earned, on eight hits in four and one-third innings. Melendez walked two and struck out one.
John Rodriguez had three hits for Wichita. Khoury, Kahaulelio, Clevlen, and Armstrong also had multi-hit nights. Capra's performance was the seventh double digit strikeout effort by a Wingnuts' starter this year.
The series continues Wednesday morning at 11:05 a.m. James Giulietti faces right-hander Stephen Bougher. All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com
The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, August 31st for their final regular season home series against the Kansas City T-Bones. Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com
Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.
For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com