Grande Chute, WI:
The Great Lakes Loons (10-23) are off to a rocky start in May, having lost 9 of its 12 games this month, including being swept following a 3-1 loss to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Milwaukee Brewers) at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grande Chute, WI this afternoon.
Great Lakes shortstop Brandon Montgomery put the Loons on the board early when he led off the game with a double, advanced to third base on a sac bunt by CF Brayan Morales, then was driven in when RF Romer Cuadrado beat out a fielders choice on a grounder to the right side of the Wisconsin infield for a 1-0 Loons lead in the top half of the first inning.
Loons third baseman Jared Walker and second baseman Marcus Chiu followed Cuadrado with back to back 1-out singles to load the bases in the top of the first, however, the Loons would be forced to settle for just the 1-run after stranding the 3-base runners when Wisconsin starter Christian Taugner struck out the next batter and forced a pop out to end the inning.
The Timber Rattlers answered in the bottom half of the inning when Wisconsin first baseman KJ Harrison drove in catcher Peyton Henry on a sac fly RBI to tie the game at 1-run apiece in the bottom of the first inning.
Loons starter Wills Montgomerie (1.45 ERA) continues to be on a limited pitch count despite another productive start where he gave up just 1-run on 1-hit and 5-walks, with 6-strikeouts through 3-innings, before being replaced by reliever Leo Crawford, who allowed 1-hit, with 1-strikeout, through 1-inning.
Taugner (4.50 ERA) would settle in to limit the Loons' chances, giving up just the 1-run on 5-hits, while striking out 3-batters through 6-innings.
Wisconsin reliever Jose Cuas (2-0, 2.25 ERA) replaced Taugner and would earn his second win of the year after allowing just 2-hits and 2-walks, with 3-strikeouts through 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Loons reliever Riley Ottesen replaced Crawford to start the fifth and looked very good through 2-innings, retiring the first six batters he faced, before running into some trouble in the seventh when Timber Rattlers' second baseman Devin Hairston scored a run on a sac fly RBI off the bat of RF Tristen Lutz, while LF Joantgel Segovia scored a second run on an RBI double by Harrison for a 3-1 Wisconsin lead in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Ottesen (0-3, 8.18 ERA) who had been struggling throughout the year, seems to have his stuff back following positive progress in today's performance, however, he was hit with his third loss of the season after giving up 2-runs on 1-hit and 2-walks, with 2-strikeouts through 4-innings of work.
Walker finished 2 for 4 with 1-walk to lead the Loons offense, while five other players had hits for the Loons today as well.
The Loons will have a much needed day off on Sunday, before returning to host the Bowling Green (KY.) Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) at 7:05 pm Monday night for the first of a 4-game series (Mon-Thur) at Dow Diamond next week.