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Cartaya’s Two-Homer Night Powers Loons over Lugnuts

No. 1 prospect in Dodgers’ system drives in four runs
July 28, 2022

MIDLAND, Mich. – In his first at-bat Thursday night at Dow Diamond, Diego Cartaya smacked a two-run home run that nearly left the park entirely. In his second at-bat, his second two-run shot did leave the park and landed on Buttles Street. Cartaya provided the firepower for the Great Lakes

MIDLAND, Mich. – In his first at-bat Thursday night at Dow Diamond, Diego Cartaya smacked a two-run home run that nearly left the park entirely.

In his second at-bat, his second two-run shot did leave the park and landed on Buttles Street.

Cartaya provided the firepower for the Great Lakes Loons in a victory over the Lansing Lugnuts, 7-2, in front of 4,265 fans.

The Loons (56-37, 16-11 second half) opened their half of the first inning with a single from Eddys Leonard. That set the table for Cartaya’s two-run bomb, his seventh as a Loon and 16th of the season, to put Great Lakes ahead, 2-0.

Lansing (36-57, 11-16) got all of their offense in the third inning, scoring two runs on one hit, a hit batsman and three walks, including a pair with the bases loaded. Those two bases loaded walks tied the game at two runs apiece.

Leonard hit a double, his Midwest League-leading 26th two-bagger of the year, to lead off the third inning for Great Lakes, High-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The next pitch was torched by Cartaya for his second homer of the day, his eighth in High-A and his 17th of 2022, putting the Loons in front by a 4-2 margin.

The Loons weren’t done in the frame. With two on and one out, Luis Yanel Diaz tripled to deep right-center field, driving in both runners and pushing the advantage to 6-2. All six runs were against Joey Estes (L, 2-5), the most runs he has allowed in a game this season.

The Lugnuts, High-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, was held scoreless for the rest of the game. Loons right-handed starter Emmet Sheehan went four innings, allowing just the two runs in the third inning. He ceded two hits and struck out four in his four frames, walking five.

The Loons bullpen was superb to finish the game. Jake Cantleberry (W, 3-1) spun two perfect frames in relief, striking out three. After him, Braydon Fisher tossed two frames of scoreless ball, allowing a hit and a walk while picking up three punchouts. Cole Percival finished things off, striking out the side in a perfect ninth inning.

Great Lakes got its seventh and final run in the eighth inning, thanks to an RBI double from Edwin Mateo, to give the home side its final advantage of 7-2.

The Loons had 10 hits in the contest, half from the first two hitters in the lineup: Cartaya’s two home runs were his 2-for-4 day, and Leonard went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.

Great Lakes now leads the six-game set, two games to one, and holds an 8-7 lead in the season series with Lansing. Friday night sees the series continue at Dow Diamond at 7:05 p.m., with ESPN 100.9-FM pregame coverage kicking off with the Loons On-Deck Circle, driven by Garber Chevrolet Midland, at 6:50 p.m. Nick Nastrini (3-3, 4.21 ERA) toes the rubber for Great Lakes, opposing fellow right-hander Kyle Virbitsky, making his 2022 High-A debut for the Lugnuts.

At Dow Diamond, it’s Central Michigan University night, with a CMU cooler bag given away to the first 1,000 fans through the gate. As every Friday, it’s a Feast Friday, presented by Isabella Bank – enjoy discounts on myriad concession items all night long. The Loons will also don their Dodgers Bluesday jerseys, which will be auctioned off during the game. Tickets are still available on Loons.com.

The Great Lakes Loons have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team’s inception in 2007. Dow Diamond serves as the team’s home and also houses the Michigan Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, and ESPN 100.9-FM. For tickets or information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.