EASTLAKE, Ohio - The Great Lakes Loons (26-43) lost both games of a road doubleheader against the Lake County Captains (23-43) on Saturday at Classic Park. The Captains won the first game, 5-2, and took game two, 4-3.
In game one, the Captains used three runs in the fifth inning to pick up a 5-2 victory. Aaron Siliga's fifth-inning drive down the right field line cleared the fence for his first home run of the season, a two-run blast that gave Lake County a 3-1 lead. One night after he was eliminated at the plate as the game-winning run by a James Baldwin outfield assist, the ninth hitter in manager Scooter Tucker's lineup collected the eventual game-winning hit with his power surge.
Dorssys Paulino joined the power train later in the inning as he hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot to extend Lake County's lead to 4-1.
The bottom of the fifth tainted an otherwise strong outing for Arismendy Ozoria (1-4) in his first start of the season. After spending last year almost exclusively as a starting pitcher for the Loons, Ozoria's 17 appearances prior to his first start of 2013 had come out of the bullpen. Working 4 2/3 innings, the righty allowed four runs, all earned, on eight hits. What was most impressive about Ozoria's outing was that the Dominican Republic native did not issue a walk. Coming into his outing, Ozoria had walked 21 batters in just 29 1/3 innings.
Jake Sisco (3-5), who had been scratched as the starting pitcher for three consecutive days prior to his start, did not have his best control, but worked around it to the tune of 5 2/3 innings of four-hit baseball. Sisco allowed just two runs, only one of which was earned, despite five walks.
The difference in game two was Aaron Siliga's fourth hit of the doubleheader, scoring the eventual winning run in the sixth inning as the Lake County Captains secured the win over the Great Lakes Loons in the second game of the night.
After Aaron Miller's third home run of the season tied the score in the top of the sixth, Siliga's second game-winning hit of the night paved the way for Josh Martin (3-3) to close the door in his second inning of relief in the seventh.
The Loons were not without their opportunities, but their struggles with runners in scoring position continued throughout the day and it especially haunted them in the seventh inning. Midwest League All-Star Tyler Ogle led the inning off with a pinch-hit double. After a sacrifice bunt from Malcolm Holland advanced him to third, the Loons were unable to bring him home and the game ended with Martin's strikeout of Leo Rodriguez to end the game.
Jordan Hershiser (0-1) suffers the loss after a hectic day of travel. Joining the team just prior to the start of the first game of the day, Hershiser received bad luck and surrendered an unearned run in two innings of work.
A dropped throw and a passed ball allowed Jorge Martinez to turn a single into a double and then advance to third, respectively, setting up Siliga's game-winning hit. Hershiser struck out four in his return to the Loons after closing out the 2012 season in the Great Lakes Bay Region, pitching in three games.
Brandon Martinez also made his return to the Loons. Great Lakes' opening day starter in 2012 got the start in game two, picking up a no-decision after 3 1/3 innings of work.
The Loons remain in Eastlake, Ohio for the final game of their series with the Lake County Captains to close the first half. Tomorrow's finale from Classic Park is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Julio Urias (1-0, 2.51 ERA) is the projected starter for Great Lakes and Chris Perez, two-time Major League All-Star, will start for the Captains on a rehab assignment by the Cleveland Indians and will pitch one inning. Afterwards, Ryan Merritt (3-6, 3.78), the original starter, is expected to throw for Lake County. The game will be aired live on ESPN 100.9-FM and on ESPN1009.com, with the broadcast starting at 1 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.