Grizzlies sweep series against Lake Erie

Blake Brown launched a three-run homer to give the Gateway Grizzlies a 5-0 lead in the second inning Thursday night and Gateway never looked back en route to a 9-1 win over the Lake Erie Crushers to earn their first series sweep on the road this season.

Brown’s home run was his second of the three-game series, fourth of the six-game road trip, 14th of the season and 62nd of his career. Brown needs three more round-trippers to pass former Gateway catcher Landon Hernandez for third place on the Grizzlies’ all-time list.

Gateway (31-40) won its third straight and remained 6.5 games back of first place in the West Division.

Trae Santos had three hits to extend his hitting streak to eight games, with multiple hits in each game. Jhonniel Alvarez and Brent Sakurai had multi-hit games of their own.

Alec Kisena (5-4) tossed six innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts for the victory. Kisena has 88 strikeouts this season — third in the Frontier League and two ahead of Max MacNabb for the team lead.

Grizzlies starting pitchers — Mike Elwood, MacNabb and Kisena — combined to allow two runs over 21 innings of work in the series sweep of Lake Erie (36-33).

Gateway’s attack was so balanced that the Grizzlies piled up 25 runs in the three-game series despite not getting a hit from the cleanup spot in their order (0 for 14, five strikeouts and a walk).

Chris Metrick fired two shutout innings out of the Grizzlies’ bullpen and Josh Glick added a scoreless frame of his own.

Gateway will open a three-game series at home Friday with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch against the Joliet Slammers.