Storm Lose Second-Half Home Opener to Quakes 6-4

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Credit: Matthew Kreg/EVT Sports

The Lake Elsinore Storm kicked off their first home series of the second half Monday night.

The Storm finished the first half in third place with an even .500 record, going 23-12 at home and 12-23 on the road.

After getting off to a rough start in the opening series at Inland Empire, dropping the first three games, the Storm were able to avoid the sweep in the finale.

Cal Quantrill was able to secure his second consecutive win. He pitched 6.2 innings, giving up only two runs and striking out seven. On the offensive side of things, catcher Austin Allen had a great series. In four games his slash line was .313/.389/1.000 with 4R, 5H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO.

The Storm try to continue where they left off as they face a Rancho Cucamonga Quakes’ team on a five-game winning streak, going back to the final game before the All-Star break.

Eric Lauer got the start Monday and, in the first inning, faced the minimum, getting two fly ball outs and recording one strikeout.

In the Storm half of the first, third baseman Ruddy Giron led off the inning with a home run to left field off Quakes’ pitcher Scott Kazmir, who was scheduled to pitch the first three innings on a rehab assignment for the Dodgers.

Lauer ran into a little misfortune in both the third and fourth innings on balls that were hit to right field and were lost in the sun. Both of these fly balls resulted in runs being scored. 6:00 pm starts can be brutal for a right fielder here at The Diamond.

Another run was allowed to score when a cutoff man was missed in the fourth inning.

Credit: M.Kreg/EVT Sports

Lauer ended his night after five innings. He gave up seven hits and six runs, while walking three and striking out eight. Lake Elsinore’s relievers came in and pitched four scoreless innings. Thomas Dorminy pitched three of them, while giving up no hits and striking out three. Zech Lemond pitched one scoreless inning, striking out the side.

The Storm bats were held in check for a good portion of the night. They were able to get to Kazmir occasionally, reaching base four times in the three innings.

In the fourth inning,  the Quakes brought in Yadier Alvarez, who was originally scheduled to start the game. He proceeded to shut the Storm down, retiring 16 of the next 17 batters he faced, including striking out the side in the sixth inning,

The Storm did finally get to him in the ninth inning, when Austin Allen and Javier Guerra each singled, and then Carlos Belen doubled off the right field wall driving in Allen.

Boomer White then reached on a fielder’s choice, and Carlos Belen scored on a throwing error by Quakes’ shortstop, Omar Estevez.

This allowed the tying run to come to the plate, but Alvarez was able to strike out Tyler Selesky and get Taylor Kohlwey to line out to center field.

Josh Naylor was the only Storm player with a multi-hit game, raising his average to an even .300.

The Storm will try to get back on track tomorrow against a hot Quakes team.

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