The Great Lakes Loons dropped a 3-2 decision in the rubber match of a three game series to the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) in front of 2,633 fans at Dow Diamond this afternoon.
Loons reliever Chris Powell (3-3, 3.00 ERA) picked up the loss when he gave up a two out double followed by an rbi single in the top of the ninth inning. The Loons failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, falling to 5-6 and tied for fourth place in the eastern division for the second half of the MWL season, 3.5 games out of first place.
The Loons had been down 2-1 until hot hitting second baseman Noah Perio ripped an rbi double down the left field line, scoring Gage Green to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“I got down 0-2 pretty quickly, the first two pitches were off-speed,” Perio said. “In that situation, early in the game and down by one, I'm just trying to have a good at-bat for the team. If that means just getting a guy over, even if I make an out, it will get guys in scoring position. I was just really trying to make sure I see the ball deep, because they were throwing a lot of off-speed to me all day. I got a decent fastball I could handle and I drove it down the line.”
At the age of 24, Perio is like a seasoned veteran compared to his younger teammates, most of whom are in their first or second year of pro baseball. He was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 39th round of the 2009 MLB draft. He was signed by the Dodgers on June, 26 and along with a red hot bat, he's also bringing a veteran approach to the game, knowing there are a lot more games to be won this season.
“Obviously, you'd like to win every game but physically it's not possible,” Perio said. “You know, we'll just keep it loose in the clubhouse, tomorrow's a new day, we'll just get back out tomorrow, get our work done and try to win another ballgame.”
Perio was 2 for 4 with a single, a double, one rbi, and a walk. Loons shortstop Omar Estevez scorched the ball as well today, going 3 for 4 with three doubles and 1 run scored. Dodgers 2016 first round draft pick Will Smith, along with Green and Derien Tubbs, all contributed with one hit respectively, rounding out the Loons' 8-hits on the day.
Starter Isaac Anderson (5-4, 4.26 ERA) pitched a gem, giving up 2 runs (both unearned) off of 1 hit, 1 walk, while striking out five Bowling Green batters through six innings. The defense committed a couple costly errors, along with two wild pitches, all at inopportune times allowing the 2 unearned runs.
“The defense played well behind me all day,” Anderson said. “Logan (Landon) tracked a ball down, so did Tubbs, Perio made a great diving play, so there was defense going all around, but errors happen, they're part of the game. You just have to make sure you continue to pound the zone, and give them more opportunities at beating themselves, and kind of put a stop to it, so it doesn't snowball into a big inning.”
“We're playing good baseball, we really are,” Anderson continued. “Despite a couple of errors here and there. But, we're losing the close games, which is fine because baseball has a way of working its way around where we're gonna start winning those close games. You know, we're getting all these new guys in and making all these adjustments, getting familiar with everybody, but once we start jelling, I think we'll be a playoff team.”
The Loons will head out on a four day road trip to West Michigan (Detroit Tigers) before returning to Dow Diamond Friday for a four game home stand with the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds).