The Great Lakes Loons' Midwest League record fell to 2-7 after dropping a 2-0 decision in game-2 of a 3-game home stand against the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) in front of 1,314 fans at Dow Diamond tonight.
The Loons received a fantastic start from Los Angeles Dodgers pitching prospect Devin Smeltzer, a 21 year old lefty from Voorhees, NJ who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB draft out of San Jacinto junior college in Texas.
Smeltzer (1-1, 3.38 ERA) gave up just 1-hit while striking out 5-batters through five shutout innings.
The Loons, however, managed very little offensive support for Smeltzer as his counterpart, Dayton starter Ryan Olson was equally impressive, pitching a rare (for Single-A baseball) complete-game, which became an even more rare complete-game shutout.
Olson (2-0, 0.00 ERA) gave up just 4-hits and 1-walk to Loons batters while striking out three as he went the distance, which is very rare for a minor league pitcher, especially this early in the season.
The Dragons managed two runs off of Great Lakes reliever Nolan Long in the top of the sixth inning which would become the difference in the game.
Dayton second baseman Brantley Bell led off the top of the sixth with a walk then stole second base and eventually moved to third on an infield force out.
Dragons' right fielder T.J. Friedl Jr. was walked and stole second base before DH Tyler Stephenson singled to center field, driving in both Bell and Friedl Jr. for the only two runs of the game.
Long (0-1) would be charged with the loss after giving up 2-runs on 1-hit and 4-walks in 0.2 innings of relief tonight.
Tony Gonsolin (0-1, 3.38 ERA) kept the Loons in the game allowing just 1-hit while striking out 4-batters through 2.1 innings of relief tonight.
Vince Santarsiero (1-0, 3.00 ERA) turned in another strong performance, allowing just 1-hit as he closed out the ninth inning for the Loons.
Brendon Davis continues to pace the Loons offensive attack going 2 for 3 from the plate tonight. Carlso Rincon and Keibert Ruiz each added hits respectively as well.
The Loons will try to get back on track when they close out game three of the series against the Dragons at 2:05 pm tomorrow afternoon at Dow Diamond.
They will then have Easter Sunday off before heading out to South Bend, IN for a three game road trip against the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs) Mon-Wed of next week.