In the highest scoring game of the season played by the Great Lakes Loons, the West Michigan Whitecaps came away victorious 15-10 on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Ballpark. Great Lakes (5-8; 34-49) and West Michigan (6-6; 44-35) both sent nine batters to the plate in two separate innings.
A combined 25 runs and 29 hits are both season-highs for combined runs and hits totaled in a game played by the Loons.
Great Lakes auspiciously scored four runs in the 2nd inning against Detroit Tigers 2015 1st-round pick Beau Burrows. Luke Raley led off with a triple and was scored two batters later by Omar Estevez to put the first crack in the scoring dam. Cristian Gomez and Gage Green also had RBI-knocks in the inning.
Loons starter Michael Boyle put the Whitecaps down in order in the 1st inning, but ran into some trouble in the 2nd. Two runners reached with no outs before Jose Azocar sent a tailor-made double play ground ball to Estevez, playing shortstop, who couldn’t handle the baseball cleanly and Azocar reached while scoring Will Allen from second base.
After the Estevez error, three straight RBI-hits for batters 7-8-9 tied the game at four. Then with two outs, Allen plated two more runs on a single up the box to give West Michigan a 6-4 lead. The Whitecaps would eventually score nine runs in the 2nd inning.
The Loons were down, but not out.
After batting around in the 2nd inning, Great Lakes did the same in the 3rd. Again, it was not a big bases clearing hit that scored runs for the Loons, but instead a passed ball on Whitecaps catcher Arvicent Perez, a run scoring single from Eric Meza and Cristian Gomez, and a sacrifice fly by Gage Green. The Loons had pulled within one run.
In the 4th inning, trailing 9-8 with a runner on, Estevez made up for his wrongs in the 2nd inning and socked his third home run of the year to thrust the Loons ahead 10-9.
West Michigan responded in the 7th inning. Tigers 2014 1st-round pick Derek Hill singled home two runs to re-take the lead and the Whitecaps never looked back. In fact, the ‘Caps batted around in the 8th inning and added four more runs against Loons reliever Alex Hermeling (BS, 3; L, 1-3).
Totaling 11 hits in the first four innings, the Loons only mustered two hits in the final five innings. Yordy Cabrera (W, 1-0), in his 2016 Whitecaps debut, held the Loons hitless in the final three innings of play.
38 runs have been scored in the first two games of this four game series between West Michigan and Great Lakes and the Loons are still looking for their first win in the set. They will have another chance on Wednesday night starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. Lefty Victor Gonzalez (3-5, 3.04 ERA) takes the ball for the Loons and Eudis Idrogo (1-3, 6.75 ERA) does the same for the Whitecaps.
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