The Great Lakes Loons' (7-18) skid has reached four games after dropping the opener of a 3-game series with a 2-1 loss to the Kane County (IL.) Cougars (Arizona Diamondbacks) at Dow Diamond tonight.
A close play in which Loons DH Brayan Morales was called out while attempting to steal second base brought skipper John Shoemaker out of the dugout to dispute the call with field umpire Ben Rosen, as the questionable call cost the Loons at least 1-run early in the game, before Romer Cuadrado was eventually thrown out at home on an attempted double-steal to end the Great Lakes threat, along with the bottom of the first inning.
Kane County answered in the next inning when Cougars RF Eduardo Diaz reached on a 1-out single off of Loons starter Edwin Uceta, before catcher Renae Martinez (2) belted a 2-run home run, his second of the season, over the left field wall at Dow Diamond for a 2-0 Kane County lead in the top of the second inning.
Uceta (1-1, 2.74 ERA) pitched well in a quality start, however, the one bad inning elevated his pitch count leading to an early exit, while a lack of run support also helped lead to his first loss of the season after giving up the 2-runs on 3-hits and 2-walks, while striking out 6-batters through 4-innings.
A couple of innings later, Morales reached with a lead-off single, stole second base, then moved to third base when Loons CF Romer Cuadrado grounded out, before scoring on an RBI-single off the bat of RF Starling Heredia to cut the Cougars lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Loons reliever's Andre Scrubb, Devin Hemmerich, and Aneurys Zabala combined to allow just 3-hits and 3-walks, while striking out 5-batters throughout a scoreless final 5-innings.
Morales was 2 for 2 with 2-walks, while Heredia finished 2 for 4 with an RBI for the only 4-Great Lakes hits tonight.
The Loons and Cougars will be back at it for game-2 of the series at 7:05 pm tomorrow at Dow Diamond.
Highlights from the Kane County Cougars vs the Great Lakes Loons Friday May 4, 2018: