MIDLAND, Mich. - Being on the same schedule isn't necessarily a bad thing for Kyle Farmer and Jacob Scavuzzo of the Great Lakes Loons.
Farmer and Scavuzzo both homered for the first time since May 8, while Loons pitchers struck out 10 batters in a 5-2 win Sunday over Lake County before 3,019 fans at Dow Diamond.
The win helps keep the Loons (28-29) in the Midwest League Eastern Division first-half playoff race, although West Michigan, the primary team they're chasing, defeated Fort Wayne on Sunday. With 13 games left in the half, Great Lakes trails West Michigan by four games in the wildcard race.
Scavuzzo homered in the first inning for the game's first run while Farmer broke it open with a two-run blast in the seventh inning that gave the Loons a 5-1 lead.
"It feels good, but whenever I hit a home run it's a lucky mistake," said Farmer, who has now hit two homers this season. Farmer also had two singles, raising his average to .316, and he drove in three runs, giving him a team-high 33.
Farmer, the Loons regular catcher, had to miss several games when he suffered a mild concussion after being hit by the backswing of an opposing batter.
"I'm 100 percent now," he said. "It was just a freak accident that turned out to be worse than I thought. But it ended up being a good break for my legs."
The Loons used four pitchers Sunday, including Jordan Hershiser - who was making his first professional start. The son of former major leaguer Orel Hershiser, the 6-foot-8 right-hander pitched two innings, allowing one hit, two walks, while striking out three batters.
Hershiser pitched his way out of a first-inning jam by striking out Nellie Rodriguez and Torsten Boss to end the inning with runners on second and third.
"I thought he did a nice job," said Loons manager Bill Haselman. "I think he was a little uncomfortable at first, but that's probably because he's not used to starting. But he settled down and really made some nice pitches when he had to."
Hershiser gave way to Luis Chirinos, who gave up a game-tying home run to Grant Fink in the fifth inning but was otherwise solid. The Loons scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth, on a ball Scavuzzo hit that's was misplayed by Lake County leftfielder Dorssys Paulino, and an RBI single by Farmer.
Ralston Cash pitched two spotless innings, striking out three, in relief of Chirinos, while Victor Araujo closed out the win by pitching the final two innings. Araujo gave up a solo home run in the eighth to Clint Frazier, the prized Cleveland Indians prospect who was last year's national high school player of the year.
Chirinos, now 4-3, was credited with the win. Hard-luck Lake County starter Dace Kime took the loss and is now 0-8.
The Loons will go for a sweep of the three-game series Monday night when Zachary Bird (3-7, 4.42 ERA) face Lake County's Luis Lugo (2-4, 5.22). It will be Social Media Monday at Dow Diamond.
The Great Lakes Loons are an eighth-year Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. For tickets and more information, call 989-837-BALL or visit loons.com.