After kicking off this road trip with an 8-3 win last night, the Great Lakes Loons (47-49) ran its win streak to three games with 15-total hits and some impressive pitching in a 10-0 victory over the Cedar Rapids (IA.) Kernels (Minnesota Twins) in front of 2,560 fans at Perfect Game Field in Cedar Rapids, Iowa tonight.
Last night, Loons third baseman Oneil Cruz (8) hit his seventh home run of the 2017 Midwest League season, and tonight he picked up right where he left off, crushing his eighth homer of the year for a 1-0 Loons lead in the second inning.
Loons center fielder Saige Jenco ripped a 2-out single in the top of the third inning then scored on an RBI-double from shortstop Gavin Lux, before Lux was driven in on another RBI-double off the bat of DH Carlos Rincon for a 3-0 lead midway through three.
Loons starter Imani Abdullah looked impressive after allowing just 3-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 4-batters through 3-scoreless innings.
In the fifth inning, Jenco doubled then moved to third on an infield grounder by Lux, before scoring on a wild pitch to give the Loons a 4-0 lead midway through five.
Loons right fielder Cody Thomas and Cruz each had RBI-singles and first baseman Cristian Santana had an RBI-double as the Loons added four more runs in the seventh inning for an 8-0 lead.
Thomas drove in Jenco with an RBI-single in the eighth and Jenco drove in Cruz for the final run in the ninth inning.
Recently promoted reliever Melvin Jimenez (a 17 year old RHP from Santiago, Dominican Republic who became the second youngest player for the Loons since Julio Urias debuted as a 16 year old back in the 2013 season) replaced Abdullah and looked impressive, earning his first MWL win.
Jimenez (1-0, 0.00 ERA) allowed just 1-hit and 2-walks, while striking out 4-batters through 4-scoreless innings.
Cruz was 5 for 5 with 3-RBI's and 3-runs scored, along with a home run and a double to pace the Loons' impressive offense tonight. Jenco was 4 for 6 with 1-RBI and 3-runs scored as well.
Santana was 2 for 4 with an RBI, while Thomas was 2 for 5 with 2-RBI's and 1-run scored. Lux and Rincon each had 1-hit respectively.
In his first appearance since joining the Loons from the Dodgers' Arizona Rookie League, reliever Dan Jagiello (a 34th round pick of the Dodgers in the 2017 MLB draft out of Division-2 LIU Post) walked one batter and struck out one batter to shut down the Kernels in the eighth inning.
Loons closer Angel German (2.00 ERA) struck out 2-batters, while putting up zeroes to close out the ninth inning.
The Loons will look for a sweep of the Kernels to make it four straight wins tomorrow night, before finishing up with 3-road games against the Quad Cities (Davenport, IA.) River Bandits (Houston Astros) Sat-Mon.