Doug Lantz shut down the division-leading Brooklyn Cyclones.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- Complete games are rare in short-season minor league baseball.
Take the Mahoning Valley Scrappers' 4-0 victory Tuesday over the Brooklyn Cyclones, for example.
Scrappers starting pitcher Doug Lantz left after eight innings at Cafaro Field having retired 10 straight Cyclones batters.
Would manager Dave Turgeon allow Lantz to record one of the few complete games in the New York-Penn League this season?
That question was answered when Mark Turnbow started warming up in the Scrappers' bullpen.
"I would love to leave him in," Turgeon said of Lantz, "but rules are rules. We're here to develop pitchers. It's not about stats. If this was Double-A, it would be a different story.
"If a guy reaches his pitch limit [Lantz threw 78], he's coming out," Turgeon said. "If he had a no-hitter right there, he's coming out. That's how strongly we feel about our pitching philosophy."
Third straight: Nonetheless, Lantz (4-5), the former University of Kansas standout, earned his third straight victory by allowing five hits while striking out three and walking two.
"I can't say enough about Doug Lantz tonight," Turgeon said. "He trusted his sinker, he went after hitters and he got ahead. It doesn't get much better than that."
Lantz got into jams early in the game, including a bases-loaded situation in the third inning, but he worked out of them.
"The first couple of innings I didn't feel like I had anything going," Lantz said. "The second half of the game I felt like I was getting stronger."
He also was helped by a defense that turned double plays in the fourth and fifth innings.
"His adjustments have been mental more than anything -- not letting anything affect him after giving up a hit," Turgeon said of Lantz's development.
Turnbow closed Brooklyn (44-18) out in the ninth as the Scrappers (19-41) broke a three-game losing streak.
Early cushion: The Scrappers' offense provided an early cushion for Lantz. Three straight hits to open the game -- a single by Dennis Malave and consecutive doubles by Chad Peshke and Josh Bard -- gave the Scrappers a 2-0 lead.
"You jump out to a quick lead, and all of a sudden your pitcher relaxes a little bit," Turgeon said. "All of a sudden he's a little more free and easy."
After the first inning, Brooklyn pitcher Lenny DiNardo (1-1) kept the Scrappers hitless through the fifth, when he was relieved by Rylie Ogle.
Mahoning Valley finished its scoring in an unusual sixth inning. Miguel Quintana's double off the glove of Brooklyn left fielder Frank Corr scored Rickie Morton with the third run.
The fourth run scored when Brooklyn catcher Brett Kay threw away a pickoff attempt of Brian Kirby at first.
The ball sailed into right field and through the rolled-up tarp along the right-field line. That allowed Quintana to come home and gave Kirby an opportunity, as well.
But Kirby was thrown out at home on a play in which Turgeon argued vehemently for several seconds.
Lydon cf4000Malave cf4110
Arias 2b4010Peshke 3b4110
Caligiuri 1b3000Bard dh4012
Corr lf3000Morton 1b3120
Jiannetti dh4020Quintana rf4111
Kay c3000Kirby lf3000
Lawson rf3010Guglielmelli c0000
Rodriguez 3b2010Bastardo c3010
McIntyre ss3000Uegawachi ss2000
E--Rodriguez, Kay, McIntyre. DP--Mahoning Valley 2. LOB--Mahoning Valley 5, Brooklyn 5. 2B--Peshke, Bard, Quintana. SB--Jiannetti. CS--Peshke, Lawson.
DiNardo L, 1-1532213
Lantz W, 4-5850023
Umpires--Charles Carillo, home; Bill Coble, bases. T--2:09. A--4,589.
HOW THEY SCORED
MAHONING VALLEY 2, BROOKLYN 0
Scrappers: Dennis Malave singled in the infield, Chad Peshke doubled over the wall in right center, Malave to third. Josh Bard doubled down the left-field line, Malave, Peshke scored. Rickie Morton struck out. Miguel Quintana grounded out to second, Bard to third. Brian Kirby grounded out to first. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 4, BROOKLYN 0
Scrappers: Peshke flied out to right. Bard grounded out to third. Morton singled to left, Quintana doubled to left, Morton scored. Kirby walked. Catcher Brett Kay tries to pick Kirby off first, throws ball into right field for error, Quintana scored, Kirby out at home trying to score. 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 0 left.