The Great Lakes Loons (32-65) dropped its fourth straight in the opener of a 3-game series, while managing just 5-total team hits in a 6-2 loss to the (56-41) Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals) in front of 4,472 at Dow Diamond tonight.
The Chiefs struck early when catcher Julio Rodriguez drove in third baseman Elehuris Montero for a 1-0 Chiefs lead in the top of the first inning, then added another run when DH Nick Plummer drove in Peoria LF Andres Luna with an RBI-single for a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, before RF Bryce Denton (8) crushed a 2-run home run, his eighth of the season, to take a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning.
Loons starter Jeronimo Castro (2-1, 5.59 ERA) picked up his first loss of the season after giving up 4-runs on 5-hits and 2-walks, while striking out 4-batters through 2 2/3 innings.
Great Lakes reliever Dan Jagiello (2.70 ERA) looked good in relief of Castro, allowing just 2-hits with 2-strikeouts through 2 1/3 innings, before he was replaced by Darien Nunez (1.69 ERA) who was equally impressive, allowing just a hit and 2-walks, with 4-strikeouts throughout the next 2-innings.
Peoria tacked on two more runs late in the game when shortstop Rayder Ascanio drove in Chiefs second baseman Jose Martinez and Luna, extending the lead to 6-0 in the top of the eighth inning.
Loons late-inning reliever Sven Schuller (4.26 ERA) gave up 2-runs on 3-hits, with 2-strikeouts through 2/3 of an inning.
Great Lakes managed to finally get on the board in the eighth when Loons first baseman Brock Carpenter led off the inning with a single, before third baseman Eric Peterson (2) roped a 2-run home run, his second of the season to cut the Peoria lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Loons closer Devin Hemmerich (3.89 ERA) allowed a hit and 2-walks to close out the final 1 1/3 innings for Great Lakes.
Carpenter was 1 for 2 with a walk and 1-run scored, while Peterson finished 1 for 3 with 2-RBI's to pace the Loons' offense tonight.
The Loons and Chiefs will return to Dow Diamond for the second game of this 3-game series at 2:05 pm tomorrow afternoon.