EASTLAKE, Ohio - Great Lakes Loons (26-41) manager Razor Shines' pre-season charge of aggressive baseball led the Loons to an 11-inning, 1-0 road victory over the Lake County Captains (21-43) on Friday night.
In the 11th inning, Malcolm Holland's groundout to third pulled Captains third baseman Jorge Martinez in front of the basepath, clearing room for James Baldwin to advance from second base. When Captains catcher Richard Stock mishandled a Benny Suarez (1-2) pitch, the passed ball allowed Baldwin to score the game's only run.
Craig Stem (S, 3) worked a scoreless bottom of the 11th, inducing a double-play to put a cap on a pitchers' duel at Classic Park. Stem's inning completed five scoreless innings from the Loons' bullpen.
Loons starting pitcher, Miguel Sulbaran, pitched a gem, working a career-high six innings of scoreless baseball. Without any run support, the lefty picked up a no-decision, remaining unbeaten since May 17. Allowing just one runner to reach third, Sulbaran has now worked nine straight scoreless innings.
After Geoff Brown worked a scoreless inning and then Owen Jones worked two scoreless frames, Alan Garcia (1-1) collected the win after he kept the Captains off the board in the bottom of tenth. Garcia walked two, but with a pair of Captains on base, Anthony Santander's foul ball to left field was hauled in against the side wall by a leaping Robbie Garvey to end the inning.
Robbie Aviles worked 5.1 scoreless innings of relief for Lake County, surrendering just three hits for the Captains. The righty was initially scheduled to start before Blake Wood's Major League rehab assignment bumped Aviles to the bullpen. He was scheduled to begin his night in the second inning, but Wood's first inning wildness put him at his pitch limit with two outs still left in the opening frame, bringing Aviles in prematurely.
Aviles inherited a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first, but began his evening by inducing a pop out from Jeremy Rathjen to put out the fire.
Donning the Captains uniform as a part of a Major League rehab assignment, Wood worked just 2/3 innings, issuing three walks before he was removed after reaching his pitch limit. Wood was scheduled to work just one inning, per instruction from the Cleveland Indians.
While they did not collect a bevy of hits, with only five in the game, the Loons were not without their opportunities. Great Lakes finished the game stranding 12 runners, going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. However, the Captains were not much better, leaving 11 runners and collecting just one hit in 10 at-bats in similar situations.
Lake County's one hit with a runner in scoring position was a single in the bottom of the ninth by Yhoxian Medina that almost ended the game. With pinch-runner Aaron Siliga at second, Medina's squibber through the middle rolled towards Baldwin in centerfield. Charging hard, Baldwin fired to the plate, connecting with Loons catcher Eric Smith on a low hop. Smith withstood Siliga's collision and held onto the ball, preserving the tie and sending the game to extra innings.
The Loons remain in Eastlake, Ohio for the final three games of their series with Lake County to close the first half. Saturday will feature a doubleheader from Classic Park with the first of two seven-inning games scheduled for 6 p.m. Arismendy Ozoria (1-3, 5.22 ERA) is the projected starter for Great Lakes in game one and Brandon Martinez (0-0, 0.00) is the projected starter for game two.
Martinez returns to the Loons after starting his 2012 season in the Midwest League. Jake Sisco (2-5, 3.42) is expected to start game one for Lake County with another righty, Cody Penny (0-0, 0.00) slated to take the mound to start game two. The game will be aired live on ESPN 100.9-FM and on ESPN1009.com, with the broadcast starting at 5:30 p.m.
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.