The Great Lakes Loons (50-51) won its third straight game, taking the first (7-inning game) of a double-header (2 seven inning games) with a 2-1 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods in front of 5,204 fans on a breezy, but mild evening at Dow Diamond tonight.
After getting out of a jam in the top of the sixth with runners on first and third, followed by watching his offense come away with a goose-egg after stranding 3-runners with the bases loaded in the bottom half of the sixth, Loons starter Chris Matthewson came back and shut down the Hot Rods 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh to go the distance and secure the win.
The Loons jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when second baseman Gavin Lux ripped a 1-out single up the middle, stole second and advanced to third on an overthrow by Hot Rods catcher Jonah Heim, before scoring on a sac fly RBI by DH Cody Thomas for a 1-0 lead.
In his first ever at bat at Dow Diamond, recently called up first baseman Nick Yarnall (a 35th round pick of the Dodgers in the 2016 MLB draft out of the University of Pittsburgh) belted his first home run of the season over the right-center field wall at Dow Diamond (which turned out to be the game winning run) to give the Loons a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
Bowling Green answered when left fielder Jesus Sanchez roped a double down the left field line and moved to third after Loons right fielder Carlos Rincon initially dropped the ball, then scored on a sac fly RBI to make it a 2-1 game in the top of the fourth inning.
Matthewson (3-2, 3.29 ERA) managed to go the distance after giving up just 1-run on 8-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 6-batters through all 7-innings for his third win of the season.
Lux paced the Loons from the dish, going 2 for 3 with 1-run scored, while Yarnall was 1 for 2 with his first home run as a Loon.
Thomas finished 1 for 2 with an RBI, and Cristian Santana was 1 for 3 to round out the Loons' 5-team hits.
The second 7-inning game of tonight's Twi-Night double-header should start around 8:30 pm as soon as the grounds crew gets the field ready to play.