The Great Lakes Loons (3-9) blew a 1-run lead after giving up 2-runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, dropping a 4-3 decision to the West Michigan Whitecaps (9-3) at Dow Diamond tonight.
Great Lakes had been clinging to a 4-3 lead when Whitecaps SS Cole Peterson led off the eighth with a walk, then scored after CF Luke Burch drove him in on an RBI-triple, before Burch himself scored on a sac fly RBI off the bat of 3B Colby Bortles to take a 5-4 lead in the top of the eighth inning.
Loons reliever Devin Hemmerich (0-1, BS1) was tagged with the loss, along with his first blown save of the year, after giving up 2-runs on 1-hit and 2-walks throughout the final 2-1/3 innings.
West Michigan struck early after Loons starter Max Gamboa walked three batters in the top of the first inning, giving the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead on an unearned run, before a double followed by back to back singles, off of Loons reliever Dan Jagiello in the second, would lead to another 2-Whitecaps' runs, giving the Cap's a 3-0 lead after 2-innings.
Gamboa (0-1, 2.89 ERA) was on a tight leash, coming out after his pitch count hit 30-pitches, despite giving up 0-runs (1-unearned) on 3-walks through 2/3 of an inning, before he was replaced by Jagiello (0-1, 4.91 ERA) who gave up 2-runs on 3-hits and 1-walk, with 2-strikeouts through 3-1/3 innings.
The Loons would respond with some run support for Gamboa and Jagiello two innings later when first baseman Nick Yarnall singled, followed by back-to-back walks to RF Carlos Rincon and DH Romer Cuadrado to load the bases, while 2B Brandon Montgomery roped a 2-RBI single to score Yarnall and Rincon, before Cuadrado stole home to tie the game at 3-runs apiece in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Loons SS Moises Perez singled in the next inning and was driven in on an RBI-single by Yarnall to give the Loons a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth.
Great Lakes reliever Zach Pop (4.91 ERA) replaced Jagiello to start the fifth and was perfect with 6-strikeouts throughout the next 2-2/3 innings of relief.
The Loons will look to get back on track against the Whitecaps with an early game at 2:05 pm at Dow Diamond tomorrow afternoon.
Highlights from West Michigan Whitecaps vs the Loons on April 20, 2018: