The Great Lakes Loons (32-63) dropped the second straight game of a 3-game home stand following a 6-3 loss to the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota Twins) in front of 5,410 at Dow Diamond tonight.
Cedar Rapids opened things up in the third when CF Akil Baddoo drove in Kernels catcher David Banuelos (who doubled to lead off the inning) and shortstop Ariel Montesino (singled) with a 2-RBI single, chasing Loons starter Bryan Warzek for reliever Justin Hagenman, who instantly gave up a 2-run home run to Kernels' first baseman David Rodriguez on the very first pitch for a 4-0 Cedar Rapids lead in the top of the third inning.
In his Midwest League debut pitching for the Loons, Warzek (0-1, 10.13 ERA) was tagged with his first MWL loss after giving up 3-runs on 3-hits, with 5-strikeouts through 2 2/3 innings, while Hagenman (6.75 ERA) gave up 3-runs on 4-hits with 2-strikeouts through 2 1/3 innings of relief.
The Kernels added to its lead in the fourth when LF Jacob Pearson (4) crushed a 1-out solo home run, his fourth of the year, for a 5-0 lead, before Baddoo led off the sixth with a triple and was driven in on an RBI-single off the bat of DH Robby Rinn for a 6-0 Cedar Rapids lead in the top of the sixth inning.
Recently promoted Loons reliever Stephen Kolek (an eleventh round pick of the Dodgers in the 2018 MLB draft out of Texas A&M) had the best outing of all of the Great Lakes pitchers, allowing just 1-hit and 1-walk, while striking out 2-batters through 3-innings of relief, while Devin Hemmerich (4.05 ERA) was impressive as well, allowing just a hit while closing out the final inning.
The Loons would finally get on the board in the seventh when shortstop Brandon Montgomery (7) led off the inning with a solo home run, his seventh of the season, cutting the Kernels' lead to 6-1, before Great Lakes DH Carlos Rincon singled, followed by LF Josh McLain, who doubled and CF Brayan Morales, who was hit by a pitch to load the bases, which led to a 2-RBI single off the bat of Loons second baseman Devin Mann, scoring Rincon and McLain to make it a 6-3 game in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Mann finished 2 for 4 with 2-RBI's to lead the Loons offense, while Montgomery was also 2 for 4 with his seventh HR of the year, followed by McLain, who was 2 for 5 with 1-run scored.
The Loons will look to salvage a win when they wrap up this 3-game series with the final game right back here at Dow Diamond at 7:05 pm tomorrow night.
Brandon Montgomery rounds the bases following his seventh HR of the season for the Loons tonight: