South Bend, IN:
The Great Lakes Loons (6-14) have now won 4 of the last 5 games (including 2-straight) after taking a 3-game road series with a 9-4 victory over the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs) at Four Winds Field at Coveleski Stadium in South Bend, IN this afternoon.
Loons CF Brayan Morales led off the game with a double, stole third then scored on a wild pitch to give the Loons an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
The Cubs answered in the bottom half of the inning when DH Roberto Caro reached with a lead-off walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third base, then scored on a sac fly RBI off the bat of former MSU Spartan Brandon Hughes to tie the game at 1-run apiece after one inning.
Great Lakes would regain the lead in the next inning when Morales, and LF Starling Heredia reached on consecutive 2-out walks, moved up to second and third respectively on a double steal, before Morales scored on a wild pitch for a 2-1 Loons lead, as RF Romer Cuadrado wallked to put runners at first and third to extend the 2-out rally.
Loons first baseman Nick Yarnall kept the 2-out rally going with an RBI-single to score Heredia, while Cuadrado advanced to third, before DH Girsel Pitre ripped a 2-RBI double to drive in Cuadrado and Yarnall for a 5-1 Loons lead, chasing South Bend starter Jose Albertos in the bottom of the second inning.
Albertos (0-3. 27.00 ERA) was tagged with his third loss of the season after giving up 5-runs on 3-hits and 6-walks with 3-strikeouts through 1 2/3 innings.
The Cubs came back with a run in the third when Caro led off with a double, then moved to third on a single by Hughes, before scoring on a sac fly RBI by shortstop Rafael Narea, cutting the Loons lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the third inning.
Cuadrado was hit by a pitch to lead off the fourth, then scored on a sac fly RBI by second baseman Marcus Chiu for a 6-2 lead midway through the fourth inning.
Cubs reliever Jesus Camargo (3.85 ERA) replaced Albertos, giving up 1-run on 2-hits with 1-strikeout through 2 1/3 innings.
Cubs first baseman Miguel Amaya doubled to lead off the bottom half of the inning then scored on an RBI-single by CF Chris Singleton to cut the Loons lead to 6-3 after four innings of play.
Loons starter Jesus Vargas (3-0, 2.00 ERA) had another quality start, earning his third win of the season after giving up 3-runs on 5-hits and 1-walk through 5-innings this afternoon.
Great Lakes' recently acquired left-handed reliever Logan Salow (a sixth round pick of the Oakland Athletics out of the University of Kentucky in the 2017 MLB draft) replaced Vargas and picked up the hold, after striking out the side with 1-walk to finish the sixth inning in his Loons debut after starting the season with Oakland's single-A affiliate, the Beloit Snappers, where he was traded to the Dodgers for MLB reliever Wilmer Font this past Wednesday.
The Loons would add to its lead with three consecutive hits in the eighth when Morales led off with a triple, then scored on an RBI-double by Heredia, who scored on an RBI-double off the bat of Cudardado, who scored the third run of the inning on an RBI-single by Yarnall for a 9-3 Great Lakes lead midway through the eighth inning.
Salow (1.35 ERA) was followed by fellow Kentucky alum, Zach Pop (3.48 ERA) who replaced the newest Loons reliever, allowing just 1-hit and 1-walk through a scoreless seventh inning, before he was then replaced by reliever Marshall Kasowski to start the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Cubs would manage to sneak in 1-run in the bottom of the ninth, but that would be the only blemish for Kasowski (2.53 ERA) who had struck out the side in the eighth, before giving up the 1-run on 1-hit, with 4-strikeouts, closing out the final 2-innings.
Morales finished just a homer shy of the cycle, going 4 for 5 with a walk, 1-triple, 1-double, and 2-singles, with 3-runs scored to lead the Loons from the dish, followed by Yarnall, who continues to smack the ball, finishing 3 for 5 with 2-RBI's and 1-run scored, while Cuadrado finished 1 for 3 with an RBI, 2-walks, and 3-runs scored.
The Loons closeout the month of April with a league-wide off-day tomorrow, before returning for six straight home games, starting with a 3-game series against the defending MWL champion Quad Cities (IA.) River Bandits (Houston Astros) Tue-Wed, and the Kane County (IL.) Cougars (Arizona Diamondbacks) Thur-Sat at Dow Diamond.