Hot Rods Knock off Loons, 6-0
MIDLAND, Mich. - The Great Lakes Loons (5-6) lost their second consecutive game to the Bowling Green Hot Rods (10-3) on Thursday night at Dow Diamond to wrap up a two-game set.
"We didn't play good baseball tonight," Loons manager Razor Shines said. 'But we had outstanding starting pitching. Lindsey Caughel was exceptional. But as a whole, we didn't play good baseball and when you don't play good baseball, you usually get beat."
The game started out the same way that Tuesday night's game was played: as a low-scoring, pitchers' duel. Neither team scored for the first five innings, combining for just five hits in those frames.
For the second consecutive game, both teams got very effective starting pitching.
Blake Snell, the Tampa Bay Rays No. 9 prospect, held the Loons scoreless for five innings, only giving up two hits. He struck out three and walked four en route to getting credit for the win.
Loons starter Lindsey Caughel had his second quality start of the season, going six innings and giving up six hits and two runs, although both were unearned. Caughel struck out five, with no walks, but received credit for the loss.
"I went out there and executed the game plan," Caughel said. "I want to throw strikes and keep the defense on their toes so they'll make plays for me out there. I was happy with how I executed that. The only thing that I worry about is giving my team a chance to win. I thought that I did that. It didn't turn out our way, but that's baseball. It's a fickle game."
The Hot Rods opened up the scoring in the sixth inning. Five-hitter Justin O'Conner, who was 2-for-5, singled to center field to score Andrew Toles and then first baseman Patrick Leonard singled to left field to drive in cleanup hitter Tyler Goeddel. Both of those runs were unearned because Goeddel reached on a fielding error by Loons center fielder Malcolm Holland that extended the inning.
Bowling Green added another run in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth.
In the road half of the seventh, the Hot Rods added another unearned run. Nine-hitter Ben Kline reached on a throwing error by Loons third baseman Paul Hoenecke, stole second base and eventually scored on a Toles single.
The Hot Rods opened up a six-run lead in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded, Kline hit a double down the right field line to plate two runs and then Marty Gantt scored on a sacrifice fly from leadoff hitter Joey Rickard.
Bowling Green had excellent relief pitching as well, with Matt Ramsey, Reinaldo Lopez and Marcus Jensen combining to hold Great Lakes scoreless, with just one hit, over the last four innings of the game.
Two-hitter Ryan Dunn also had a multi-hit game for the Hot Rods. Loons cleanup hitter Tyler Ogle reached base three times in the game, all on walks.
The Loons are back in action on Friday night, as they host the Lake County Captains (4-8) in a doubleheader that will be the first two games in a series that will feature five games in three days.
"Everybody we have is available," Shines said. "I think we'll be fine. I don't think [a lack of pitching] will come into play. We've got enough arms to get through this and they're quality arms. We'll be fine."
The projected starters for Game One are Zachary Bird (0-0, 3.86) for the Loons and Mitch Brown (0-1, 15.43) for the Captains. Great Lakes pitcher Angel Sanchez (0-1, 5.40) and Lake County pitcher Luis Morel (1-0, 3.00) are the projected starters for Game Two.
The Great Lakes Loons are a seventh-year Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. For tickets and more information about the Loons, visit Loons.com or call 989-837-BALL.
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