The Great Lakes Loons blew a 2-1 lead after giving up 4 unanswered runs in the top of the ninth inning in a 6-2 loss to the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) at Dow Diamond this afternoon.
Loons reliever Ryan Moseley replaced Chris Matthewson to close out the last inning and the Whitecaps proceeded to jump all over the former Texas Tech pitcher, scoring 4-unanswered runs in the top of the ninth inning.
West Michigan DH Chad Sedio and catcher Drew Longley led off the top half of the ninth with back to back doubles on just three pitches to take a 3-2 lead with nobody out.
With runners on first and third, Whitecaps' left fielder Sam Machonis followed with an RBI single to score Longley, before shortstop Anthony Pereira crushed a 2-RBI double to blow the game wide open for a 6-2 Whitecaps' lead midway through the ninth inning.
Great Lakes starter Imani Abdullah had walked Whitecaps third baseman David Gonzales to lead off the top of the third and Loons manager Jeremy Rodriguez was taking no chances as he pulled Adbullah (who was on a strict pitch count) after just 45 pitches (27 for strikes).
Gonzales advanced to second, then third on two infield ground outs, before scoring on an RBI single by Pereira for a 1-0 West Michigan lead midway through the third inning.
Abdullah (1.42 ERA) was charged with the run on 1-hit and 1-walk, while striking out 4-battters in his 2-innings of work.
The Loons knotted things up in the bottom of the third when first baseman Jared Walker (2) repeated his first at bat from yesterday, belting a 2-out solo home run (his second HR in 2 games with the Loons) over the right field wall at Dow Diamond to tie the game at 1-run apiece.
Loons right fielder Carlos Rincon hustled out an infield single and advanced to second when Whitecaps' third baseman Zac Shepherd overthrew first base, then scored on an RBI bloop single by catcher Keibert Ruiz to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.
West Michigan starter Tom De Blok (1.37 ERA) made it into the sixth inning after giving up 2-runs (only 1 of which was earned) on 5-hits, while striking out 5-batters through 4 2/3 innings.
The Whitecaps would tie the game when center fielder Danny Woodrow laced a 1-out single up the middle, moved to second on a walk to Pereira, before scoring on an RBI single from right fielder Cole Bauml to tie the game at 2-runs apiece midway through the eighth.
Matthewson (3.40 ERA) had a fantastic piggy-back start with Abdullah and would go on to give up 1-run on 3-hits and 2-walks, while striking out 6-batters through 6-innings.
Moseley (0-1, 5.63 ERA) was charged with the loss after giving up 4-runs on 4-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 1-batter all in the ninth inning.
Santana finished 2 for 3, while Ruiz was 2 for 4 with an RBI to pace the Great Lakes offense today.
The Loons will look to earn a split when they host the Whitecaps for game-4 of this four game series tomorrow night at 7:05 pm here at Dow Diamond.