COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. – A scoring splurge by the West Michigan Whitecaps felled the Loons, who lost a lead in the sixth inning or later for the second straight game, in a 10-4 contest on a sunny Tuesday afternoon at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Loons fall to 2-4 on the season, while West Michigan improves to 4-1 and a perfect 3-0 at home.
A back and forth game through the first six innings turned into a rout in the seventh inning when Jordan Pearce hit a grand slam off Loons righty reliever Aneurys Zabala to make the score 10-4. West Michigan scored in four straight frames from the fourth through the seventh, and took its first lead of the game with three runs in the sixth.
Prior to the seven-run swing for West Michigan, the Loons led three times in the game, but never by more than two runs. The Loons stranded 10 men on base and batted 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
West Michigan third baseman Colby Bortles, younger brother of Blake, tormented the Loons for the second game in a row and reached base in all four trips to the plate on Tuesday. He is now 5-for-6 in two games against the Loons with four runs, two RBI and two extra-base hits.
For the Loons, centerfielder Brayan Morales continued to be an imposing presence on the bases. The 22-year-old stole three bases (his second game with multiple steals), and manufactured a run in the sixth when he stole third and scored on a throwing error by West Michigan catcher Brady Policelli. Morales has not been caught stealing in six attempts this season.
Loons starter Max Gamboa pitched into the fifth inning and allowed two earned runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Great Lakes looks for its first win in the series at West Michigan Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. Coverage can be heard on ESPN 100.9-FM, ESPN1009.com, Loons.com and on mobile devices using the TuneIn App.
The Loons will return to Dow Diamond next weekend for a three-game homestand against the Dayton Dragons on April 13-15. Friday’s game will begin at 6:05 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday will both be matinees starting at 2:05 p.m.
The Great Lakes Loons have been the Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team’s inception in 2007. Dow Diamond serves as the team’s home and also houses the Michigan Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, and ESPN 100.9-FM. For tickets or information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.
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