Great Lakes Loons players Brendon Davis and Carlos Rincon have been two of the premiere hitters in the Midwest League this season, however, after a recent mini-slump the pair came into tonight's game hitting a combined 3 for 28 over the previous few games.
The dynamic duo managed to get the bats back on track, going a combined 5 for 8 to pace the team to a 6-4 victory over the Fort Wayne Tincaps (San Diego Padres) on a chilly evening at Dow Diamond tonight.
Davis doubled to lead off the game, then scored on Los Angeles Dodgers' top prospect, Gavin Lux's first hit since joining the Loons from extended spring training last night.
Lux, a 6-foot-3 second baseman from Kenosha, WI who was drafted by the Dodgers in the first round (20th overall) of the 2016 MLB draft, singled which allowed Davis to score from second base.
Lux, then promptly stole second base and scored on Rincon's single to left field to give the Loons a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Great Lakes starter A.J. Alexy (0-0, 1.00 ERA) put together another strong start, allowing just 1-hit while striking out 3-batters through 3.1 innings tonight.
The Tincaps battled back to score single runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings respectively, however, the Loons also managed some significant offense to regain the lead.
The Tincaps managed to take the lead 3-2 with three runs (2-earned) off of Loons' reliever Willian Soto, who replaced Alexy in the fourth inning.
Soto (2-0, 2.89 ERA) a 6-foot-4 RHP from Punto Fijo, Venezuela gave up 3-runs (2 of which were earned) on 4-hits and 2-walks while striking out 3 Fort Wayne batters through 2.2 innings of relief.
After the Tincaps had taken a 3-2 lead in the top half of the sixth inning, Rincon answered with a lead-off double in the bottom half of the sixth, then scored when Loons catcher Keibert Ruiz drove a line drive RBI single to center field to tie the game at 3-runs apiece.
The Tincaps would retake the lead 4-3 when Great Lakes reliever Patrick Duester gave up a solo home run to outfielder Jack Suwinski (1) in the top of the seventh inning, however, the Loons answered with another 2-runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Duester (1-0, 5.40 ERA) would go on to earn the win for the Loons despite the solo home run, which would be his only blemish, after allowing the 1-run on 2-hits while striking out 2-batters through 2-innings of work.
Loons third baseman Moises Perez led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk and moved to second base after Davis was hit by a pitch, while another walk to Lux would load the bases.
With the bases loaded, Perez scored when Rincon was hit by a pitch, then Davis scored on a bases loaded walk to Cody Thomas to take a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Great Lakes first baseman Gage Green reached base on a throwing error in the bottom of the eighth inning and advanced to second on Perez' fielders choice ground-out, then moved to third on a wild pitch before eventually scoring on Davis' RBI single for a 6-4 lead to round out the Loons' scoring.
Parker Curry (1-1, 2.31 ERA) gave up just 1-hit while striking out the side to close out the ninth inning, earning his first save of the season.
Rincon finished the game 3 for 4 with 2-RBI and 1-run scored, while Davis was 2 for 4 with an RBI and 2-runs scored to pace the Loons' batters.
Lux finished 2 for 3 with 2-walks, 1-RBI, and 1-run scored, while Ruiz was 1 for 4 with an RBI.
The Loons will wrap up the four game series with Fort Wayne with back to back 2:05 pm games on Saturday and Sunday before welcoming the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) for three straight home games Mon-Wed at Dow Diamond.