The Great Lakes Loons (56-55) could only muster 6-team hits, while blowing a 4-2 lead, losing a 5-4 decision in extra innings to the Fort Wayne Tincaps (San Diego Padres) in front of a capacity crowd of 6,181 in the opener of a 4-game series at Dow Diamond tonight.
The Tincaps broke a 4-4 tie with 1-run in the top of the tenth when Fort Wayne center fielder Buddy Reed scored to take a 5-4 lead after the Loons had just missed out on a double play which would've ended the innning.
Loons closer Andre Scrubb (4-1, BS4) was charged with the loss, along with his fourth blown save of the year after giving up 1-run on 2-walks with 2-strikeouts in the tenth inning.
Fort Wayne had taken an early lead when former Detroit Tiger OF Damion Easley's son, Nate Easley led off with a double then scored on an RBI-single from Tincaps first baseman Brad Zunica for a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning.
The Tincaps extended its lead to 2-0 in the next inning when catcher A.J. Kennedy scored on an RBI-single off the bat of another former major-leaguer's son, Fernando Tatis Jr. in the top of the fifth inning.
After giving up 9-earned runs in his last outing, Loons starter Leo Crawford bounced back with a solid performance tonight, giving up 1-earned run (and 1-unearned) on 4-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 9-batters through 6-innings.
The Loons took the lead with four runs in the bottom of the sixth when shortstop Gavin Lux led off with a walk and moved to third on a single by third baseman Cristian Santana, then scored on a wild pitch by Tincaps starter Adrian Morejohn to cut the Fort Wayne lead to 2-1 with no outs.
Santana advanced to second on the wild pitch, then third when Loons right fielder Cody Thomas grounded out, and scored on another wild pitch by Morejohn to tie the game at 2-runs apiece.
After walking Loons left fielder Starling Heredia, Morejohn was replaced by reliever Jordan Guerrero who gave up an RBI-double to Great Lakes catcher Connor Wong, scoring Heredia for a 3-2 Loons lead, while Wong advanced to third on the play.
Wong then scored the fourth run of the inning on another wild pitch, this one by Guerrero for a 4-2 Loons lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Loons reliever Jeremiah Muhammad (3.09 ERA) replaced Crawford and looked good in 1-inning of relief, striking out 3-batters while putting up zeroes in the seventh inning.
The Tincaps managed to get to Loons reliever Evy Ruibal, who had replaced James Carter (a 21st round pick of the Dodgers in the 2016 MLB draft who just joined the Loons on Aug. 2, from the Ogden Raptors) in the top of the ninth with 2-runs to tie the game 2-2 midway through the final frame.
Carter allowed 1-hit with 1-strikeout in his 1-inning of work, while Rubial (6.75 ERA) gave up 2-runs on 2-hits and 2-walks with 1-strikeout through 2/3 of an inning.
Santana was 2 for 5 with 1-run scored to lead the Loons offense tonight, while Wong finished 1 for 2 with 1-walk and 1-run as well.
Thomas, Loons DH Carlos Rincon, and second baseman Moises Perez each added 1-hit apiece respectively.
With tonight's loss, the Loons drop to 20-22 in the second half (56-55 overall) of the Midwest League standings and now trail the Tincaps by 7-games and the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) by 6-games for 1 of the 2 remaining MWL playoff spots.