The Great Lakes Loons (31-30) could only muster 5-hits, dropping the second game of a 4-game series 5-3 to the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs) at Dow Diamond tonight.
South Bend (37-24) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top half of the second inning when shortstop Isaac Parades drove in third baseman Wladimir Galindo with an RBI single.
The Cubs managed to get to Loons starter Dustin May with another two runs (1 of which was unearned due to an error) in the top of the fifth inning when DH Vimael Machin drove in left fielder Kevonte Mitchell with an RBI single before South Bend first baseman Jhonny Pereda scored later in the inning on an error by Loons third baseman Oneil Cruz to build a 3-0 lead midway through the fifth inning.
May (3-3, 3.90 ERA) was charged with his third loss of the season after giving up 3-runs (only 2 of which were earned) on 5-hits and 3-walks, while striking out 7-batters through 5-innings.
The Loons answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when center fielder Saige Jenco reached on a 1-out single before shortstop Gavin Lux (1) crushed his first ever professional home run, a 2-run blast over the center field wall at Dow Diamond to get to within 1-run (3-2) of the Cubs.
Machin then scored on an RBI single off the bat of Cubs' right fielder Chris Pieters for a 4-2 South Bend lead in the top of the seventh inning.
Loons reliever Gavin Pittore (2.45 ERA) gave up 1-run on 3-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 1-batter through 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Jenco (1) responded by taking South Bend reliever Tyson Miller deep with a solo shot over the left-center field wall at Dow Diamond for his first home run of the season to get the Loons to within 1-run of the Cubs (4-3) in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Machin (4) took Loons reliever Miguel Urena (1.03 ERA) deep with his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot over the right field wall at Dow Diamond to build a 5-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning.
Urena (1.03 ERA) would go on to give up just that 1-run on the Machin homer, while striking out 3 South Bend batters through 2 1/3 innings.
Jenco continues to blister the ball in the month of June, going 2 for 3 with a home run tonight to lead the Loons' offense, while running his consecutive hit-streak to 11-straight games. The former Virgina Tech Hokie is hitting .379 with 11-hits in his last 29 at-bats in the month of June.
Loons catcher Keibert Ruiz was 1 for 1 with 2-walks, Lux was 1 for 4 with 2-RBI's, while third baseman Oneil Cruz finished 1 for 4 to round out the Loons' 5-hits tonight.
The Loons will now look to take the next two home games against the Cubs starting with a 2:05 pm game tomorrow afternoon followed by a 7:05 pm game Monday evening at home before capping off the first half of the 2017 Midwest League season with 7-games in 6-days (4-games against Dayton and 3-games against Bowling Green) on the road leading up to the MWL Home Run Derby and All Star Game Jun 19-20 at Dow Diamond.