The Great Lakes Loons dropped a 2-1 decision to the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs) in front of 2,457 faithful Sunday afternoon at Dow Diamond.
Last night's hero Brendon Davis has faith his team will bounce back after a long week with back to back rain-delay games lasting well into the night, followed by the emotional roller coaster of a come from behind win on Davis' walk-off hit last night, only to be back here early this morning to battle through a 7 game home stretch.
They still managed to win 8 of their last 11 games, which speaks to the tenacity of this young group of Dodger prospects as they push into August trying to catch the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) for one of the two remaining eastern division MWL playoff spots.
“We've been doing well, we played good ball today but I think a lot of guys got hit with the jet lag from the other night,” Davis said. “It's a tough day, you get here early in the morning after a long game the day before, but we came out today, we grinded, gave it our all, and it didn't go our way, but we'll be back out there tomorrow and I think we can get these guys again.”
Loons starter Yadier Alvarez (1-0, 2.77 ERA) -a 20 year old flame thrower from Matanzas, Cuba whom the Dodgers signed as a free agent in 2015- had slow start but settled down, giving up 1 run on 3-hits and 3-walks, while striking out 4 South Bend batters through four innings.
It seemed Alvarez may have been having a hard time gripping the ball in the light rain throughout the first inning at Dow Diamond where he gave up all 3 of his hits and the one run.
Prior to Sunday's game against South Bend, Alvarez had amassed an amazing 20 strikeouts throughout his first 9-innings with the Loons.
He had 10 strikeouts against the Kane County Cougars in his first start where he pitched 5-innings back on July, 20 at Dow Diamond. Five days later, he struck out another 10-batters against the Clinton LumberKings in just 4-innings.
Loons reliever Ivan Vieitez would give up the other run in the top of the fifth inning. He allowed 2-hits and 1 walk through 2 innings of relief.
The Loons would battle back after catching a break with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning when Cubs third baseman Matt Rose air mailed a throw to first base on a ground ball hit by Davis.
Davis promptly advanced to second on the overthrow, and moved to third when Cubs reliever Tanner Griggs was called for a balk.
CMU alum Zach McKinstry drove in Davis with a 2 out rbi single that made it 2-1 heading into the eighth inning.
Davis singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth and stole second base to get himself into scoring position but nobody could score him this time.
Loons reliever Angel German allowed 1 hit and struck out 2-batters in the seventh inning, and Brian Bass struck out three batters to close out the final two innings.
Darien Tubbs and Omar Estevez led the Great Lakes offense, each going 2 for 4 respectively. Saige Jenco, Matt Jones, McKinstry, and Davis each had hits as well.
The Loons will be back at Dow Diamond tomorrow night for game 3 of their 4 game series with the Cubs. They will then wrap up the week with a three game home series against the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians) Wed, Thurs, and Fri.