MIDLAND, Mich. - Angel Sanchez briefly flirted with history, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but it was not enough for the Great Lakes Loons (12-18) to end their losing streak. The Loons, who have now lost their last five games, fell to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (13-14), 3-1, in a Monday matinee that began at 10:35 a.m. and featured School Kid's Day at Dow Diamond.
"[Sanchez] was outstanding," Loons manager Razor Shines said. "You throw seven innings of one-hit baseball, you can't do things any better. In my opinion, he obviously deserved a better result than the one that he got."
The game was scoreless after seven innings because both starting pitchers had phenomenal outings.
Loons starting pitcher Angel Sanchez was flat-out dominant, only allowing two baserunners in seven innings. He was perfect through three innings before he issued a walk in the fourth and did not give up a hit until two-hitter Michael Reed doubled to lead off the seventh. The Reed double was the only hit he gave up. Sanchez struck out eight and only issued one walk in his seven innings of work.
"I was working in my spots and just keeping the ball down," Sanchez said. "I had a good tempo. I was just trying to be more closed, hit my spots and I think that was the difference. Nobody said anything about (the no-hitter) and I finally looked at the scoreboard in the last inning. But I wasn't thinking too much about it. Just trying to hit my spots and keep the ball down."
For Wisconsin, starter Eric Semmelhack pitched six great innings, holding the Loons scoreless, while giving up just two hits. The Oak Creek, Wisc. native struck out four and only walked one.
The Timber Rattlers scored all of their runs in the top of the eighth inning. Parker Berberet walked and advanced to third base on a single from Orlando Arcia before scoring the first run of the game on a bunt single by leadoff hitter Tyrone Taylor. Arcia and Taylor both scored on a two-run Reed single. Reed was 2-for-3 in the game and reached base in three of his four plate appearances.
Jonathan Martinez pitched the last two innings for the Loons, giving up three runs on four hits to take credit for the loss.
Great Lakes added their only run of the game in the home half of the eighth. Six-hitter Jesus Valdez singled to right field, advanced to third on a Pat Stover double and scored on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Jesmuel Valentin, who also had a double in the game. Stover was stranded at third base to end the eighth.
Timber Rattlers relief pitcher Preston Gainey pitched the last three innings for Wisconsin, giving up one run on three hits, and got credit for the win.
"We're going to continue to work hard," Shines added. "Eventually, this thing will turn and we're going to come out of it. It's frustrating for all of us when we're in it, but I guarantee you we're going come out of this thing because I'm at the top and I won't allow it or stand for it."
The Loons are back in action on Wednesday when they head to Indiana to take on the Fort Wayne TinCaps (16-12) in the first game of a three-game series. Ralston Cash (2-1, 3.42 ERA) is the projected starter for Great Lakes and Joe Ross (3-0, 1.78 ERA) is the expected starter for the TinCaps. Game time is 11:05 a.m. The contest will be broadcast live on ESPN 100.9-FM and ESPN1009.com. The series will also feature a father-son matchup between Fort Wayne manager Jose Valentin and Loons infielder Jesmuel Valentin.
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.