LIMA — Cincinnati Steam’s Will Vogelegesang got a late start this summer.
But the shortstop from Miami, Ohio, is quickly making up for lost time.
Vogelegesang hit two home runs to power the Steam to a 16-6 victory over the Lima Locos Friday at Simmons Field.
The Locos and Steam split their two-game series at Lima.
The Locos are 18-11. Cincinnati is 22-8.
The Steam had eight home runs and 16 hits on the night.
The Steam led 8-0 after six innings, before the Locos got within 8-5 after seven.
The game went sideways for the Locos after that.
To save the bullpen, the Locos threw two everyday players, Jaxon Shirley and Michael Diffley, in the final two innings.
“I didn’t have anybody who was 100 percent fresh tonight (in the bullpen),” Locos coach Jared Gaynor said. “Everyone was banged up. So once they added on those extra runs (in the eighth off reliever Nate Witherspoon, to make it 11-5), it didn’t make sense to go to one of our pitchers.
“We had (Troy) Cordrey and Jake (Meyer) up in the bullpen, but both weren’t feeling 100 percent. If we would have been within one or two, I would have gone to another pitcher. But once they got the lead like that, it made sense to save them and give them an extra day.’’
Vogelegesang went 2 for 4 with two home runs and three RBI. It gave him three home runs for the two-game series in Lima.
His first game for the Steam was July 4, as he was coming off a shoulder injury he suffered at the Mid-American Conference tournament.
“I hurt my shoulder and took a month off so it feels good to back in and get some good swings on the ball,” Vogelegesang said. “It’s nice to get back in the swing of things and hit the ball hard.’’
Jonathan Brus also had two home runs and two RBI for the Steam, although one homer came against a Locos position player.
Right-hander Grant Macciocchi (Kentucky) started for the Steam. He went six innings and gave up two runs, both earned, on four hits. He struck out six and walked one.
For the Locos, Anthony Amicangelo and Brad Croy each went 2 for 4.
Tyler Anshaw went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI.
Mark Castelblanco went 2 for 4.
The Steam took a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Steam added a run in the fourth.
Vogelegesang started the fourth with a monster-blast solo home run to left.
That gave the Steam a 2-0 lead.
Vogelegesang wasn’t done with his big night.
In the fifth he pounded a two-run home run to left to give the Steam a 4-0 lead. Cincinnati added four runs in the sixth with two home runs.
Aaron Levy added a two-run home run into the left-field bullpen to make it 6-0.
After a Ryan Fournier single, Brus cranked a two-run home run and the Steam lead mushroomed to 8-0.
The Locos jumped back in the game in the seventh with a five spot.
Anshaw hit a two-run home run to dead center in the home seventh to bring the Locos within 8-2.
Amicangelo hit an RBI single to left to make it 8-3. Diffley followed with a two-run single to left and it was 8-5.
Just like that, the Steam answered with two more homers in the eighth.
Ryan Fournier hit a solo homer and it was 9-5.
Bailey Montoya slammed a two-run homer and it was 11-5.
Tyler Miller (Texas A&M/Corpus Christi) started for the Locos and went 5 2/3 innings. He gave up eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits. He struck out six and walked one.
The Locos expect at least one new pitcher right after Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
“That’s really what we need,” Gaynor said.
Locos notes: The Locos are at Grand Lake today (7 p.m.) and Sunday (4:30 p.m.) at Montgomery Field.
Locos outfielder Judd Ward (Auburn) homered in his final Locos at-bat in the eighth inning of Thursday’s 7-3 win over Cincinnati. He left for home in Russellville, Alabama, on Friday for family reasons.
Locos right-hander Devin Smith (William Carey) will make his final appearance in a start at Grand Lake tonight. He is being shut down by his college coaches because of an innings limit. He threw 81 innings with a 3.65 ERA at William Carey.
Anthony Amicangelo (Johnson County CC) ranks third in the league in hitting at .389. Brad Croy (Bowling Green) is fourth at .385.
All-Star lefty A.G. Ayala, who left with tightness in his left forearm in Thursday’s game, ranks seventh in ERA at 2.76. Ayala won’t pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday at Mason and will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.