Fort Wayne, IN:
The Great Lakes Loons (2-7) fell into a 6-0 hole in the first inning, then gave up another run, falling behind 7-0 after 4-innings, before a comeback bid fell short in a 7-5 loss to the Fort Wayne Tincaps (San Diego Padres) at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, IN tonight.
Pitching woes continue to plague the Loons, who have walked a total of 29-batters in the past 3-games, including 3-walks and 1-hit batter in the first inning tonight by starter Melvin Jimenez, who gave up 6-runs to spot the Tincaps a 6-0 lead before being replaced by reliever Marshall Kasowski in the first inning.
Jimenez (0-1) was charged with his first loss of the season after giving up the 6-runs on 3-hits, 3-walks, with 1-strikeout through 1/3 of an inning.
Kasowski (3.18 ERA) relieved Jimenez and walked the first 2-batters he faced in the bottom of the first inning, then settled in to strike out the next six consecutive Fort Wayne batters, while retiring 8-straight throughout the next 2-2/3 innings.
Loons reliever Zach Pop replaced Kasowski, walking Tincaps' CF Jeisson Rosario and RF Tirso Ornelas with one out in the fourth when Rosario stole third, before eventually scoring on an infield ground-out to give Fort Wayne a 7-0 lead through four innings.
Pop (7.71 ERA) gave up the 1-run on a hit and 2-walks through 2-innings of relief.
Loons first baseman Nick Yarnall led off the sixth with a single and DH Romer Cuadrado followed with a walk, before shortstop (Fort Wayne native) Zach McKinstry (1) crushed a 3-run home run, his first of the season to cut the Fort Wayne lead to 7-3 midway through through the sixth.
The Loons, however, would not go down softly, as CF Brayan Morales led off the ninth with a single, before Yarnall (2) drove him in with a 2-run home run to cut into the Fort Wayne lead (7-5) with two outs in the top of the ninth.
Great Lakes reliever Devin Hemmerich (2.70 ERA) looked very strong after replacing Pop in the sixth, allowing just 1-hit, while striking out 1-batter to close out the final 3-innings.
The Loons will wrap up the three-game series in Fort Wayne tomorrow (11:05 am) and Thursday (7:05 pm) before returning home for 7-games with a 3-game home series against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) on Fri-Sun, followed by a four-game home series against these Tincaps Mon-Thur at Dow Diamond next week.