Series Even with Loons Shutout Win
EASTLAKE, OH - In their fourth shutout win of the season, the Great Lakes Loons (37-31) blanked the Lake County Captains (37-31) at Classic Park Wednesday night, 5-0. The win evens the series at a game apiece, and ties the Loons and Captains for second in the East, a half-game from first behind Dayton, who fell to Fort Wayne Wednesday night.
Three separate Loons went deep in Wednesday's win, including the first homerun of the month of July for Andy Pages, tallying his 17th of the season. James Outman, who topped Kyle Russell's 26 Loons career homerun record last night, blasted number 28 to begin the scoring in the top of the fourth. Joe Vranesh knocked the third homerun of the night for Great Lakes to extend his on-base streak to 12 games. Great Lakes has now recorded seven home runs as a unit in their two games in Lake County, homering four times in Tuesday's loss.
Alec Gamboa (W, 3-3) posted his third quality start for Great Lakes, allowing no runs on two hits in the first five innings in Wednesday's victory, striking out five batters. The lefty Gamboa has posted three consecutive scoreless appearances for Great Lakes, allowing no runs on five hits, walking five and striking out 15 batters in that span. Gamboa's scoreless streak climbed to 18 innings, a span that reaches back to a 10-9 win in Fort Wayne on July 2.
Wednesday's win was the 10th time a Loons starter reached the fifth inning, a situation that favorably results in a 9-1 record for Great Lakes. It was the fourth shutout win for the Loons pitching staff this season.
Lake County's Xzavion Curry (L, 3-1) entered Wednesday without a losing decision on his line with the Captains after joining the Lake County roster from Cleveland's Low-A Lynchburg on June 9. The Vranesh homer ended Curry's line at 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on four hits and striking out eight batters. After only allowing five home runs in 32 2/3 innings with Lake County, the Loons tagged the right-handed starter with three Wednesday night.
The Loons shutout win was a continued effort by the bullpen, following the conclusion of Gamboa's five-inning start. Melvin Jimenez surrendered the games' first and only walk in his lone frame, allowing no runs on no hits. Lake County singled twice off Franklin De La Paz in the seventh inning, but failed to convert the hits into runs. De La Paz walked no batters and struck out three in his two innings, leaving the door open for Cam Gibbens to record the final three outs, with the final out a strikeout. Great Lakes pitchers held Lake County 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, stranding four runners on-base.
Every hit for the Loons offense came as an extra-base hit, homering three times and doubling twice. Both doubles were run-scoring plays, coincidentally both scoring unearned runs following defensive Lake County errors. Pages was the only player in Wednesday's game, on either side of the aisle, to record a multi-hit night, homering and doubling in four trips to the dish. Zac Ching recorded his first hit of the series as a run-scoring double down the leftfield line with two outs in the fifth. The Loons finished 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position, leaving only two runners aboard in Wednesday's win.
An evened series continues Thursday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 P.M. EDT from Classic Park in Eastlake, OH. Logan Boyer is penciled to make his 16th start for the Loons this season with a 4.50 earned-run average. In 18 innings this season, Boyer has struck out 20 batters, but allowed 13 walks. Lake County sends southpaw Zach Draper to the bump for his 12th appearance of the season, bringing a 6.75 ERA in 25 1/3 innings with him in 2021. Pregame coverage launches on ESPN 100.9 FM, your home for Great Lakes Loons baseball, with the Loons On-Deck Circle, Built by Three Rivers.
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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