LIMA — The Cincinnati Steam looked right at home at cozy Simmons Field.
The Steam pounded out five home runs in a 13-2 rout of the Lima Locos Saturday at Simmons Field.
That gave the Steam 17 home runs on the year in 17 games.
Leading the way for the Steam was left fielder Grant Richardson (Indiana), who went 3 for 5 with two home runs and three RBI.
“The ball flies here, that’s for sure,” Richardson said with a smile. “When we all start hitting, our chemistry is good.’’
The Locos are 9-6 and are in first place in the North Division. Cincinnati is 10-7 in the South Division.
“It was their night and they hit really well,” Locos coach Matt Furuto said. “We hit, but we left a lot of guys on. It was hard for us to string hits together. They played defense pretty well and didn’t walk a lot of guys.
“It was a tough game, but they’re a good team. I think we’re still a good team and I think we can bounce back.’’
The Steam, which knocked out 15 hits, went out to a 3-0 lead in the first.
The Locos got within 3-1 in the home first. The Steam tacked on three more in the third and it was 6-1.
The Steam scored two in the sixth and one in the seventh to make it 9-1.
Steam starter right-hander Jordan Menfee (Southern Indiana) threw his breaking ball for strikes through his five innings of work. He gave up one run, earned, on six hits. He struck out four and walked three.
Menfee threw 99 pitches, 57 for strikes.
On the other hand, Locos starter Carter Poiry (Murray State) started the game by hitting Gephry Pena.
Jake Silverstein singled and Richardson walked to load the bases with no outs.
Pena came home from third on a balk to give the Steam a 1-0 lead.
Braydon Runion hit a sacrifice fly to left and it was 2-0 Steam. Tyler Wardwell’s RBI single to right gave the Steam a quick 3-0 lead.
Nick Colina (2 for 4) delivered and RBI single to right to get the Locos within 3-1 in the second.
The Steam added three more runs in the third to expand their lead to 6-1.
Runion launched a solo home run to left in the third to make 4-1.
Eddie Rivero’s RBI single kicked the lead to 5-1. Pena added an RBI single to deep short and it was 6-1 Steam in the third.
Poiry was coming off a strong six-inning, one-run, eight-strikeout performance. On Saturday, however, he lasted only 2 2/3 innings, giving up six runs, four earned, on four hits. He struck one and walked two.
“He didn’t look very comfortable and was kind of feeling for everything,” Furuto said of Poiry. “He didn’t have his best stuff today. He got behind and they were on his pitches.’’
The Locos got runners on base most of the early innings, but couldn’t consistently get the big hit. The Locos left 12 on base.
Richardson hit a two-run home run into the left-field bullpen in the sixth to push the lead to 8-1.
“I didn’t think that one was out,” Richardson said. “I saw him (the left fielder) run into the fence and I said, OK.’’
Richardson had nine home runs at Indiana this year.
Ben McCabe’s solo homer to left in the seventh gave the Steam a 9-1 lead.
Richardson’s second home run of the game, a solo shot in the eighth, made it 10-2. It was his third home run this summer.
“That one felt good. I knew that was gone off the bat,” Richardson said.
Cincinnati’s Alex Neff capped the home run barrage, with a three-run homer in the ninth, and the lead ballooned to 13-2.
The Locos also lost a key player for a while.
Locos shortstop/third baseman Ryan Smith limped off in the third inning with a quad injury. He was coming back from a strained quad last week. Smith was injured running to first on a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop.
“He’s been dealing with it a little bit (the quad) and it got him today and it kind of killed the mood,” Furuto said. “It’ll definitely have to be a couple of days. … He’s a great guy to have in the lineup and hopefully it’s nothing too serious.’’
Locos notes: The Locos and Cincinnati Steam wrap up their two-game series at 5 p.m. today at Simmons Field.
After 14 games, the Locos led the league in hitting (.299) and doubles (29) and runs (107). They ranked second in home runs with nine. … The Locos ranked third in ERA at 3.05.
After 14 games, Locos’ Ryan Smith ranked fifth in the league in hitting at .400. Zach Sweet is ninth at .353. … Tyler Tolve was second in the league RBI with 16 and third in runs (15). … Nick Colina and Colton Frank were tied for sixth in stolen bases with seven. … Sweet also was seventh in runs (13) and sixth in hits (18).
The Locos swept a doubleheader over Hamilton on Friday. Last year the Locos played six makeup doubleheaders. They swept one (over Richmond) and split five. This year the Locos have one sweep and one split of doubleheaders.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.