MIDLAND, MI - The Great Lakes Loons used an impressive first inning to jump out to an early lead Sunday, highlighting their 7-1 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps in front of 5,915 fans in attendance at Dow Diamond.
The Loons batted around in the first to score five against Whitecaps starting pitcher Victor Larez. After a Nick Buss double, Brian Cavazos-Galvez slapped a liner to the right field corner for an RBI-triple. Loons outfielder Blake Smith followed up with a two-run bomb to right center field, his 18th home run of the year.
"We were just trying to be aggressive again," Smith explained. "That's when our team hits the best. He threw me a pretty good fastball to hit and I got a good piece of it. Fortunately we had that big inning right there, which kind of led to our victory."
The Loons were just getting started as Angelo Songco and Rafael Ynoa hit two out of the park to record the franchise's first back-to-back-to-back home runs, and doing so with only four pitches.
"Me and Songco went back-to-back in Wisconsin [on 7/17] and we were kind of joking around about it in the dugout," he said. "And as soon as we were, Ynoa launches one out to right field. It's awesome and it got our team pumped up."
Songco's homer was officially estimated at 508 feet, while Ynoa's home run gives him two games in a row with a dinger.
J.T. Wise, who went three for four on the day, hit a single to make it six consecutive hits for the Loons and complete the team's cycle in the first inning.
Loons starter Matt Magill didn't give up his first hit until his 79th pitch, which came in the top of the sixth inning, against West Michigan left fielder Jeff Rowland. Magill (7-4, 3.28) picked up the win, finishing with no runs, two hits, three walks and six strikeouts over six innings, before being relieved by Steve Smith, who allowed one unearned run over three innings of work for his sixth save.
The Whitecaps scored one run in the eighth on a Brian Ruggiano throwing error, but that was all for the 'Caps as the Loons extended their lead with Wise's two-run single in the bottom of the inning.
The Loons play game three of four against the Whitecaps Monday at 7:05 p.m. RHP Allen Webster (11-8, 2.83) will start on the mound for the Loons against West Michigan's RHP Luis Angel Sanz (2-6, 5.45). Fans attending Monday's game will receive a Great Lakes Loons Road to the Show poster, presented by F.P. Horak.
The Great Lakes Loons are a fourth-year Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and members of the Midwest League. For more information about the Loons, visit Loons.com or call 989-837-BALL.