MIDLAND, Mich. - Corey Seager, the No. 3 prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system, had a night for the history books on Friday, going 3-for-4, with two home runs and a double, along with six runs batted in, leading the Great Lakes Loons (28-44, 1-1) to a 9-7 victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps (34-38, 1-1) at Dow Diamond.
A game that featured an early lead for the Loons, along with subsequent rallies by both Great Lakes and West Michigan, was the 600th win for Loons manager Razor Shines.
"It means I've been able to do this for a long time," Shines said. "It also means that longevity has given me the opportunity to do this. I've been around a long time. Obviously, in order to do this, we've had to put in some time."
The Loons jumped on West Michigan starter Edgar De La Rosa, the Tigers No. 29 prospect, scoring three runs in the first inning. Robbie Garvey led off the inning with a triple to the left-center field gap. Garvey attempted to steal home and got a great jump, causing De La Rosa to balk, which allowed Garvey to score. Garvey was 2-for-5 in the game, with one run scored and one RBI.
"I was in there, even without the balk," Garvey said. "He had a slow windup and as I walked down the line, he kept letting me go, so I just took off. I was a little upset that the umpire called the balk, but the important thing is that we got the run.
Five-hitter Corey Seager hit a 435-foot two-run home run into the wind to right field to account for the second and third runs of the inning.
"I was down two strikes, so I was just trying to protect," Seager said. "He left a pitch up in the zone and I was able to put a good swing on it."
Seager hit another two-run home run in the third, blasting a 2-2 pitch 380 feet to left field, scoring Kevin Taylor.
"I don't think I've ever had a game like that," Seager said. "That was pretty special. I think that is probably a once-in-a-lifetime type of game and I'll remember it for a while."
"I talked about (Seager) on the first day when the season opened and I told people that this kid is special," Shines added. "I think he's one of the best players in this league and what you all saw tonight are some of the things I've seen him do all the time. He is a special, special talent and one day, we're all going to be able to see it on television."
West Michigan cut into the deficit in a big way in the top of the fourth inning. Cleanup hitter Jeff Holm, who was 2-for-5, hit a triple to right field, driving in Devin Travis for the first run of the inning. Holm and Jason King scored when eight-hitter Jake Stewart hit a 390-foot home run to left field. Because Travis reached on a fielding error, all four Whitecaps runs in the fourth were unearned.
Great Lakes added their sixth run in the fourth when Jose Capellan, who was 2-for-3, scored from third on a Garvey groundout.
De La Rosa went four innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on five hits. He struck out four and walked two.
The Whitecaps tied the game in the fifth inning. Travis hit a double off the left field wall to score Jared Reaves, who was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. Travis scored on a single by Connor Harrell, who was 2-for-4 with a walk.
Miguel Sulbaran started for the Loons and pitched 4 2/3 innings. He gave up six runs (two earned) on seven hits. Before giving up two earned runs into the fifth inning, Sulbaran threw 17 2/3 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run.
Arismendy Ozoria (2-4) entered the game in the fifth for Sulbaran and struck out the first four batters he faced. He finished with five strikeouts and one walk, giving up one run on two hits in 2 1/3 innings to pick up the win.
West Michigan broke the tie in the seventh. The Whitecaps loaded the bases with one out. Ozoria struck out Harrell before throwing a wild pitch with King was at the plate, allowing Reaves to score. Ozoria got Harrell to ground out to end the inning.
With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh, Great Lakes scored three runs to take the lead. Two-hitter Jeremy Rathjen drew a walk and stole second base before Taylor reached on a throwing error by King at third base, which also allowed Rathjen to score. Taylor advanced to second base on the play, leaving first base open. The Whitecaps intentionally walked Midwest League All-Star Tyler Ogle to pitch to Seager, who promptly hit a ball that went off the left-center field wall on one hop for a double, scoring Taylor and Ogle. With the two-run double, Seager tied the Loons record for most RBI in a single game.
"That's a win-win for us," Shines said. "You've got a guy at the plate in Ogle who's a tough out. And they decided to pitch to Corey, obviously for the lefty-on-lefty matchup. I was a little excited because we have a guy at the plate who's already hit two home runs, so you obviously know he's feeling good about himself."
West Michigan reliever Logan Ehlers (0-5) gave up all three runs in the seventh, although none were earned, to take the loss for the Whitecaps. Ehlers allowed four hits in two innings, while striking out two and walking two.
Owen Jones retired the Whitecaps in order in the eighth, including two strikeouts, and Craig Stem threw a scoreless ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season.
The Loons will finish their three-game series with the Whitecaps on Saturday night. Brandon Martinez (0-0, 8.10 ERA) is expected to make his second start of 2013 for the Loons. Jake Thompson (0-1, 5.68), the Detroit Tigers No. 4 prospect, is the projected starter for West Michigan. Saturday is Star Wars Night at Dow Diamond and there will be a postgame Fireworks Loontacular.
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.