Snappers end skid in opener to homestand

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Josh Flickinger/Beloit Daily News Snappers third baseman Eric Marinez covers the bag during Thursday's victory over Clinton.

BELOIT - The Beloit Snappers couldn't wait to get back to the friendly confines of Pohlman Field.

No, they weren't especially excited about the hailstorm that hit around 3:30 or so. And the tiny crowd wasn't exactly a key to their performance, either.

Whatever the reason, the Snappers broke a five-game losing streak and won for the 10th time in their last 12 games at Pohlman Field, defeating Clinton 3-1.

The victory, coupled with a Peoria loss to Burlington, left the Snappers one game back in the race for a playoff spot with 24 games to play. It also helped them move a step away from an ugly series at first-place Quad Cities in which they were swept in four games and outscored 27-12.

"I think the off day Wednesday really helped us move past that series," Snappers manager Joel Steinmann said. "We went out there and scored first and the pitching did a great job tonight. Getting back on the right track all around, it looked like tonight."

Steinmann said the Quad Cities series was the classic case of running into a team at the wrong time.

"They are really hot right now," Steinmann said. "They were pitching well, they were hitting really well, which they've done all year long. You've got to tip your cap to them. Basically it was only four innings that did us in, one per game. And a lot of the damage was with two outs. So if we get a pop-up instead of a double, the game changes a lot."

Kyle Twomey continued his terrific stretch of pitching, going five innings and allowing just one unearned run. In his last six outings, Twomey has allowed just six earned runs in 28 1-3 innings, good for a sparkling 1.91 ERA.

For a guy that was released by the Cubs after a rough spring training, Twomey has the opportunity to enter the offseason with significant positive momentum.

"I'm just grateful the A's gave me another opportunity," Twomey said. "I was able to get my work in down at extended spring training and fine-tune some stuff and build on that. Once I got up here, it was just about finding a groove, and that's not always easy to do."

Twomey said he knew Thursday was a big game for his team.

"I needed to stop the bleeding," Twomey said. "I just tried to give us a quality start. We've seen these guys quite a few times and I wanted to go out and be really aggressive early and get the ball rolling for us. I knew the offense would score a couple of runs for us."

Jesus Zambrano was just as good out of the Beloit bullpen, pitching three scoreless innings while striking out three LumberKings. Ty Damron recorded the final three outs without issue to record his first save of the season.

Beloit got their first run on Jesus Lopez's first home run of the season on a line drive to left center that barely cleared the fence. The LumberKIngs tied the game in the third with an unearned run against Twomey before the Snappers bounced right in the bottom of the fourth.

After Clinton starter Ryne Inman walked the bases loaded, reliever Tim Viehoff came on and allowed an RBI single to Josh Vidales before walking in Mike Martin to make it 3-1. Luke Persico doubled to lead off the seventh and later came around to score on an Edwin Diaz bunt to provide the final margin.

The Snappers will try for their second straight win Friday when the two teams meet at 7 p.m.

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