The Great Lakes Loons (54-54) have gotten back to .500 for the season after scoring 2-runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings each respectively in an 8-2 victory over the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) in front of 8,526 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton, OH tonight.
The Loons jumped out to an early lead when DH Cristian Santana drove in center fielder Jeren Kendall with an RBI-double for a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
The Dragons answered when first baseman Bruce Yari singled to lead off the bottom of the second, then scored on a Loons fielding error to tie the game 1-1, before Dayton added another run when DH Malik Collymore (3) touched recently added Loons starter Carlos Felix for a solo home run, his third of the season, to pull ahead of the Loons 2-1 through two innings.
The Loons managed to even the score when third baseman Jared Walker doubled to lead off the top of the fifth inning, tagged up and advanced to third on a Moises Perez fly out, then was driven in by left fielder Saige Jenco on an infield ground-out to tie the game at 2-runs apiece midway through the fifth inning.
The 21 year old Felix (a 6-foot-2 RHP from Navajoa-Sanora, Mexico who just joined the Loons today from the Ogden Raptors after starting the year in advanced-A Rancho Cucamonga) looked very good, earning his first win in his Great Lakes debut.
Felix (0-0, 3.00 ERA) gave up 2-runs on 6-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 4-batters through 6-solid innings.
Walker (5) would give the Loons a 4-2 lead when he drove in first baseman Nick Yarnall (who reached on a 1-out walk) with a 2-run home run, his fifth of the season in the top of the seventh inning.
Kendall doubled to lead off the top half of the eighth inning and Loons shortstop Gavin Lux (7) extended the Great Lakes lead with a 2-run blast for his seventh home run of the season and a 6-2 lead midway through the eighth.
Yarnall scored after he and Walker led off the top of the ninth with back to back doubles for the first run, before Jenco drove in Walker for the second run of the ninth inning to extend the Loons' lead to 8-2 in the final frame.
Loons reliever Melivin Jimenez continued his scoreless streak with the Loons while earning his first save of the season.
Jimenez (SV, 1) allowed 1-hit and 2-walks, while striking out 6-batters through the final 3-scoreless innings.
Walker was 3 for 4 with 3-RBI's including his fifth HR of the year to lead the Loons offense tonight.
Kendall finished 2 for 5 with 2-runs scored and 1-stolen base, while Lux was 1 for 5 with his seventh HR of the year. Santana, Yarnall, and Jenco all went 1 for 3 with 1-walk each respectively. Santana also added 1-RBI, Jenco 2-RBI's and 1-stolen base, and Yarnall added 2-runs scored as well.
Tomorrow, the Loons will get a look at a proven Major-League pitcher when Cincinnati Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani makes a rehab start for the Dayton Dragons. DeSclafani, who will be limited to around 60-pitches, is building up his arm strength after elbow surgery.