The Gateway Grizzlies scored six runs in the ninth inning to blow the game open and roll to a 9-2 win Tuesday night over the Lake Erie Crushers at Sprenger Health Care Stadium.
Mike Elwood (5-6) tossed seven innings of one-run ball and struck out six for the victory. He departed with a 2-1 lead before the Grizzlies added one in the eighth and six more in the ninth.
Gateway (29-40) snapped its three-game losing streak and pulled within 6.5 games of first place in the West Division. The top five teams in the West are separated by two games.
Paul Russo and Brent Sakurai both had three hits. Trae Santos, Shane Mardirosian and Cody Livesay posted two hits apiece.
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Lake Erie (36-31) lost its third straight.
Kevin Simmons hurled a scoreless eighth inning and struck out two for a hold.
Santos homered to lead off the fourth inning and put the Grizzlies on the board. He added a two-run single in the ninth. Santos has 13 home runs and 46 RBIs this season, both numbers lead the Grizzlies.
Russo and Sakurai also had multiple RBIs.
Artemis Kadkhodaian went hitless for a sixth straight game, but walked three times to bring his total to 10 bases on balls over his last five games. As a result, he’s scored seven runs in those five games — even without a single hit.
Gateway and Lake Erie will play a matinee Wednesday at 10:05 a.m. CDT. Max MacNabb will take the mound for the Grizzlies. With seven or more strikeouts, MacNabb would take over the Frontier League lead. He is also on pace to break the Grizzlies’ single-season strikeout record.