The Great Lakes Loons (39-35 overall, 3-2 second half) had less than 7-total hits for the fifth consecutive game in a 5-2 loss to the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians) at Classic Park in East Lake, OH tonight.
The Loons tried to make a late push, trailing 5-1 in the top of the ninth inning when right fielder Mitchell Hansen led off with a walk, moved to third on a single by first baseman Erick Meza, then scored on an RBI single from shortstop Gavin Lux to make it a 5-2 game.
However, everything came to a screeching halt when Meza (thinking third baseman Oneil Cruz' line-out to center field was through for a hit) was doubled up to end the game.
The Great Lakes batters were shut down by Lake County starter Micah Miniard (an eighth round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 2014 MLB draft) who earned his second win of the season after giving up just 1-run on 3-hits and 2-walks, while striking out 5-batters through 7-innings.
Lake County grabbed an early lead when shortstop Miguel Eladio doubled then scored on an RBI single by third baseman Gavin Collins to give the Captains a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
The Loons tied things up when center fielder Darien Tubbs scored on an infield ground out off the bat of Cruz, making it a 1-1 game in the top of the third inning.
The Captains regained the lead when Eladio (5) belted his fifth home run of the season to go up 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
Loons starter Leo Crawford's night would begin to deteriorate after getting the first 2-outs in the top of the fifth inning when he allowed 2-walks and 2-singles to his next four batters for 2 Lake County runs, falling behind 4-1 midway through the fifth.
Crawford (4-5, 4.37 ERA) was charged with his fifth loss of the season after giving up 4-runs on 6-hits and 3-walks, while striking out 2-batters through 4 2/3 innings.
Miguel Urena replaced Crawford to get out of the fifth inning, but ran into some trouble of his own in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Urena walked Lake County left fielder Mitch Longo to lead off the bottom of the inning, before second baseman Alexis Pantoja drove in Longo with a 1-out RBI single to extend the Captains' lead to 5-1 through six innings.
Urena (1.67 ERA) gave up 1-run on 3-hits and a walk through 3 1/3 innings of relief.
Catcher Keibert Ruiz was 2 for 4 to lead the Loons offensively tonight, while Hansen finished 1 for 2 with 2-walks and 1-run scored.
The Loons, who have still managed to win 3 of 5 in the second half of the MWL season despite averaging just 6.6 team hits per game, will try and get the bats going for game 2 of this 4-game road series at Classis Park tomorrow night.