The Great Lakes Loons (55-54) jumped all over Major League pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (who was down in single-A on a rehab assignment following recent elbow surgery) for 8-runs followed by another 3-runs on reliever Jesse Stallings for 11-first inning runs in a record setting game where three different Loons combined for 7-total home runs in a 16-5 blowout victory over the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) in front of 8,498 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton, OH tonight.
Loons DH Saige Jenco and shortstop Gavin Lux led off with back to back doubles, followed by back to back home runs from the 'Bomb-Brothers' center fielder Cody Thomas (16) and right fielder Carlos Rincon (17) for an early 4-0 Loons lead in the top of the first inning.
Great Lakes catcher Connor Wong and first baseman Nick Yarnall kept the first inning rally going with back to back singles, as third baseman Jared Walker (6) jumped on DeSclafani with a 3-run home run to give the Loons a 7-0 lead in the first inning.
DeSclafani was chased after Loons No. 9 hitter Moises Perez singled, as the Loons still had just 1-out in the first, before Jenco popped up for the second out of the inning and Lux followed with a single with two outs.
The 'Bomb-Brothers' then made history with back to back home runs for an unprecedented second time in the same inning. Thomas (17) belted his seventeenth of the season, a 3-run shot to make it a 10-0 game and Rincon (18) followed with his eighteenth for an 11-0 lead midway through the first.
Walker (7) became the third Loons batter with 2-home runs in the game when he led off the top of the fifth inning with his seventh of the year, before Thomas (18) set a franchise record as the only player in Great Lakes Loons' history to hit three home runs in one game, a 2-run blast for a 14-0 lead.
In his Great Lakes Loons debut, Los Angeles Dodgers No. 11 prospect Starling Heredia (an 18 year old OF from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic who was signed by the Dodgers for $2.6 million as a 16 year old back in 2015) became the ninth player in the lineup to get a hit when he led off the sixth inning with a single, before scoring when Walker reached on a Dayton fielding error for a 15-0 lead.
Loons starter Jordan Sheffield ran into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the eighth when he gave up 3-singles, a double, and a walk before being replaced by reliever Andre Scrubb, as the Dragons would plate 5-runs to cut the Loons' lead to 15-5 in the eighth.
Sheffield (3-7, 4.03 ERA) was well on his way to the best start of the year before his trouble in the eighth, however, he still would go on to earn his third victory of the season after giving up 5-runs on 5-hits and 1-walk, while striking out a career high 10-batters through 7 1/3 innings.
Scrubb (1.63 ERA) finished out the eighth after 2-runs scored on the 2-hits he allowed, however, Sheffield was on the hook for both runs, while Scrubb struck out 1-batter through 2/3 of an inning.
Perez laced a 1-out double, then was driven in by Lux on an RBI-double to round out the Great Lakes scoring, taking a 16-5 lead in the top half of the ninth inning.
Loons closer Vinny Santarsiero (2.76 ERA) put up zeroes across the board, adding 1-strikeout to close out the ninth inning.
Thomas, who was 3 for 5 and was also hit by a pitch tonight, set three franchise records: the most home runs (3) in a game, the most total bases (12) in a game, and the most RBI's (7) in a game to lead the Loons' offense.
Lux was also 3 for 5 with 1-RBI and 3-runs scored, while Rincon and Walker were each 2 for 5 with 2-home runs apiece respectively. Walker had 4-RBI's and Rincon had 2-RBI's.
Perez was 2 for 5 with 2-runs scored, while Jenco, Wong, Yarnall, and Heredia each added 1-hit apiece respectively to round out the Loons' 16-hits.
The Loons will look to finish this road trip with a sweep in the final game of the series in Dayton tomorrow before returning for a 4-game home stand Sat-Tue against the Fort Wayne Tincaps (San Diego Padres) at Dow Diamond this weekend.
With a 19-21 record in the second half (55-54 overall) of the Midwest League standings, the Loons trail the Tincaps by 6.5 games and the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) by 5-games for 1 of the 2 remaining second half playoff spots.