(Billings Mustangs release)
BILLINGS – The Billings Mustangs (16-10, 31-33) out-hit their opponent in a loss for the second straight night, falling 2-1 to the Helena Brewers (14-12, 31-33) in front of 3,174 at Dehler Park on Friday.
The game would be highlighted by outstanding outings from both starting pitchers. Max Lazar (3-2) threw six shutout innings in the win, allowing three hits and striking out six. He would not walk a batter.
Adrian Rodriguez (1-2) countered with his best outing of the year, taking a perfect game into the fifth inning after retiring the first 13 batters he saw. Bryan Torres would break that up with a one-out single to left field. Rodriguez threw six shutout innings before walking two aboard in the seventh to be knocked out of the game. That is consecutive nights a Mustangs starter has gone into the seventh and the fourth time this season.
With two outs and two on, LG Castillo singled to center to get Helena their only two runs of the game in the seventh. It was also the final hit of just three in the game for them.
The Mustangs tried to push back with the tying run at second base in the bottom of the seventh, but he would be stranded there after Johan Dominguez retired three straight with two aboard.
Mariel Bautista singled in the fourth to keep his hitting streak alive and push it to 15 games. He would go 1-for-4.
Billings got their lone run in the eighth on an RBI, two-out single from Drew Mount to score Jay Schuyler. Mount finished 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He has collected multiple hits in seven of his last eight games.
The Mustangs lead in the Pioneer League North Division is now down to 1.5 games over the Missoula Osprey and they lead the Brewers by just two games.
Billings and Helena will face off in game two of their three-game series Saturday at Dehler Park. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.