The Great Lakes Loons (26-59) snapped its recent 6-game losing streak with 3-home runs in an impressive 7-1 victory over the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) in front of 3,638 at Dow Diamond tonight.
The Loons jumped all over Dayton's 18 year old, right-hand starter, Hunter Greene (the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 MLB draft) when recently promoted Great Lakes shortstop Deacon Liput (a tenth round pick of the Dodgers in the 2018 MLB draft) reached on a 1-out double, while Loons third baseman Luke Heyer was hit by a pitch, before second baseman Brandon Montgomery (6) cleared the bases with a 3-run home run, his sixth of the season for a 3-0 Loons lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Great Lakes added to its lead in the third when CF Brayan Morales led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on an overthrown ball on a pick-off attempt, then scored on an RBI-single by Liput, which was followed by a single from Loons RF Carlos Rincon, moving Liput to third, before Montgomery drove in Liput on a sac fly RBI for a 5-0 Loons lead, chasing Greene in the bottom of the third inning.
Greene (3-7, 4.69 ERA) suffered his third loss of the season after giving up 5-runs on 5-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 3-batters through 3-innings.
The Dragons answered in the top of the fourth when CF Lorenzo Cedrola led off the inning with a triple, then scored on a sac fly RBI by Dayton shortstop Jeter Downs, cutting the Great Lakes lead to 5-1 midway through the fourth, however, the Loons responded with another run in the bottom half of the inning when Loons DH Brock Carpenter (4) jacked his fourth home run of the year, a solo shot over the right field wall at Dow Diamond, for a 6-1 Great Lakes lead after 4-innings of play.
Loons starter Max Gamboa (3-4, 4.30 ERA) looked very good, picking up his third win of the season after giving up just 1-run on 4-hits, while striking out an impressive 7-batters through 5-solid innings, while reliever Melvin Jimenez (H1, 6.48 ERA) earned the hold, allowing just 1-hit, with 4-strikeouts through 3-innings, before closer Connor Strain (1.40 ERA) allowed a hit, with 2-strikeouts to close out the ninth inning.
The Loons would cap the scoring when first baseman Eric Peterson (who was signed as a free agent by the Dodgers out of Minnesota State-Mankato back in 2017) roped his first career home run as a professional, a solo shot over the left-center field wall at Dow Diamond, for a 7-1 Loons lead in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Liput was 2 for 4 with 1-RBI and 2-runs scored and Montgomery finished 1 for 3 with 4-RBI's to lead the Great Lakes offense, while Carpenter and Peterson were each 1 for 3 with 1-RBI apiece respectively.
The Loons will look to make it 2 in a row in game-3 of this 4-game series against the Dragons at 2:05 pm right back here at Dow Diamond tomorrow afternoon.
Highlights of the Loons 7-1 victory over the Dayton Dragons July 7, at Dow Diamond: