SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Loons scored all five of their runs in the third inning on Wednesday night, and topped South Bend 5-2 at Four Winds Field to even the three-game series at one win apiece.
Working against spot starter Tyler Peyton (L, 2-3), who took the place of Dylan Cease in the rotation for South Bend, the Loons erupted for five hits in their eight-batter third inning. The Loons also produced back-to-back home runs in the inning, and needed 15 pitches to score the five-spot.
Left-handed hitter Cody Thomas and righty Carlos Rincon homered on consecutive pitches from the righty Peyton. Both shots went to the pull side. It’s the first multi-homer inning for the Loons this season, and the first time the team has gone yard in consecutive at-bats since August 11, 2016 when Omar Estevez and Luke Raley accomplished the feat against Lake County.
Thomas and Rincon each have 14 home runs for the Loons the Loons, tied with Fort Wayne’s Brad Zunica for second-most in the Midwest League. The Loons last had two players with double-digit home runs in the same season in 2014 when Josmar Cordero hit 11 dingers and Paul Hoenecke tallied 14.
Right-hander Dustin May (W, 5-3) pitched five innings and allowed one earned run on four hits. Nine-hole hitter Luis Ayala tallied three hits in the game for South Bend.
The Loons bullpen has blown saves in six games since the All-Star break, but righties Vinny Santarsiero (H, 3) and Angel German (S, 5) allowed four hits, one walk and no runs over the final four innings. Both pitched for the first time in the second half.
Thursday’s series finale determines the winner of the three-game set. It is the final regular season meeting between the Loons and South Bend. The Loons clinched the 2017 season series with Wednesday’s win, and are 8-5 against South Bend this year.
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