The Great Lakes Loons (44-42) had no run support until it was much too late after yielding 3-runs in the sixth inning to drop its third straight game 5-2 to the (41-43) Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) in front of 3,009 at Bowling Green Ball Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky tonight.
Trailing 5-0 in the top of the ninth inning, the Loons finally managed to string together 3-hits and make it a 5-2 game in the top of the ninth inning when shortstop Oneil Cruz drove in right fielder Cody Thomas and DH Carlos Rincon with a 2-RBI single after Thomas and Rincon had each singled to lead off the inning.
In a classic pitchers duel early on, Bowling Green jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Loons starter A.J. Alexy relented a lead off home run to Garrett Whitley (6) who hit his sixth long-ball of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The homer to Whitley would prove to be the only blemish for Alexy (2-3, 2.42 ERA) who is having a great year. Alexy was charged with the loss after giving up the 1-run on 3-hits and 3-walks, while striking out 4-batters through 5-innings.
Loons reliever Christian Stolo replaced Alexy in the bottom of the sixth inning and gave up a lead off double to Hot Rods left fielder Jesus Sanchez and a single to catcher Jonah Heim, followed by a 3-run home run to first baseman Bobby Melley (1) his first of the year for a 4-0 Hot Rods lead.
Stolo (3.79 ERA) finished out the sixth after giving up the 3-runs on 4-hits, along with 1-strikeout through 1-inning of relief work.
Bowling Green added another run to take a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh off of Loons reliever Jeremiah Muhammed (3.00 ERA) who gave up the one run on 4-hits, while striking out 1-batter though his one inning of work.
Great Lakes closer Andre Scrubb (1.46 ERA) allowed just 1-walk to finish out the game for the Loons.
Cruz had his third straight multi-hit game, going 2 for 3 with 2-RBI's and 1-walk to lead the Loons offense again.
Loons first baseman Cristian Santana was 1 for 4, extending his hit streak to 8-games since joining the Loons on July, 1 against West Michigan. Santana has 14 hits in 31 at bats with a .452 average.
Santana's season hit streak is 16-games if you include his eight game hit streak with the Ogden Raptors in the Dodgers' Arizona Rookie League before joining the Loons.
The 6-foot-2, 20 year old infielder from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic has 36 hits in his 72 at bats in 18 games this year between Ogden and Great Lakes for an impressive .500 batting average in his first season of professional baseball.
Loons left fielder Mitchell Hansen was 1 for 2 with 2-walks, while center fielder Brayan Morales went 1 for 2 as well. Thomas, Rincon, and catcher Keibert Ruiz all had 1-hit each respectively as 7 of the 9 Loons' batters hit safely.