MIDLAND, Mich. – Low scores have been the theme for both the Great Lakes Loons and South Bend Cubs through the first half of their four-game series at Dow Diamond. On Sunday it was the reverse of Saturday’s outcome as the visitors were on the right side of the 2-1 game in Midland.
For the first time in a Loons uniform, Los Angeles Dodgers pitching prospect Yadier Alvarez (L, 1-1) did not have double-digit strikeouts in a start. After punching out 10 batters in each of his first two starts for Great Lakes, the right-hander allowed a run on three hits over four innings. He had four strikeouts and issued three walks on 73 pitches (47 strikes).
Outfielder Darien Tubbs provided some heroics in the outfield with a spectacular diving catch in the 8th inning to go along with his 2-for-4 day the plate. Omar Estevez was also in on the action with a multi-hit day. Former Central Michigan University infielder Zach McInstry continued his steady play for the Loons (16-19; 45-60) as he went 1-for-3 with a walk and drove in the only run of the game.
The South Bend pitching staff scattered eight Loons hits in the game, five of which came against starter Adbert Alzolay (W, 7-4) who tossed six shutout innings for the Cubs. The right-hander has not lost a decision since June 27 and used seven strikeouts to his advantage on the afternoon.
Tanner Griggs (H, 2) and John Williamson (H, 6) combined to work the 7th and 8th innings as they allowed one unearned run on two hits and three strikeouts. Dillon Maples (SV, 5) allowed a one-out single to Brendon Davis in the 9th, but worked around Logan Landon and McKinstry to earn the save.
In the 1st inning P.J. Higgins doubled off Alvarez and scored during the next at-bat, a run-scoring single off the bat of Alberto Mineo. The Cubs (23-13; 64-41) doubled their lead in the 5th when Eloy Jimenez singled in Mineo against reliever Ivan Vieitez.
Great Lakes pulled a run back in the 7th when Brendon Davis reached on a throwing error by third baseman Matt Rose that allowed him to advance to second base. After a balk pushed him the third, McKinstry blooped a single into shallow right field. But that would be all the Loons would muster.
Logan Landon saw his Loons season-best 14-game hitting streak come to an end on Sunday as he went 0-for-4.
The third game of four against the Cubs is set for Monday evening with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Jordan Sheffield, a 2016 Dodgers compensatory 1st round pick, will make his Loons debut on the mound. You can hear coverage on ESPN 100.9-FM with the Loons On-Deck Circle powered by Dow Corning beginning at 6:35 p.m.
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