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Great Lakes Surrenders Seven-Run Lead in Dayton

Vargas ties longest hit streak in franchise history, six unearned runs hamstrings Loons
June 8, 2021

DAYTON, OH. – Despite leading 7-0 into the third inning, the Great Lakes Loons (16-15) fell to the Dayton Dragons (17-14) at Day Air Ballpark by a final score of 8-7. Dayton’s Carson Spiers (W, 1-0) likely threw the best performance by an opposing pitcher the Loons have faced this

DAYTON, OH. – Despite leading 7-0 into the third inning, the Great Lakes Loons (16-15) fell to the Dayton Dragons (17-14) at Day Air Ballpark by a final score of 8-7. Dayton’s Carson Spiers (W, 1-0) likely threw the best performance by an opposing pitcher the Loons have faced this season, allowing no runs on one hit in six innings, walking one and striking out nine batters. All eight of the Dayton runs came unanswered in the fourth through the sixth inning, with six of them unearned.

Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for the Loons in the first inning against Dragons starter Lyon Richardson, who allowed no earned runs on eight combined innings against the Loons earlier in May. Designated hitter Carson Taylor unloaded the bases with a three-RBI double, and would score on a throwing error by shortstop Miguel Hernandez. In his last ten games, Taylor is averaging a .313 with an OPS of .919 and 12 runs batted in, erasing what was an .087 batting average to start the year.

After a four-run first, three more were plated on Richardson in the second, beginning with Miguel Vargas’ sixth homerun of the season. A 2-for-5 night for Vargas ties him with Brian Cavazos-Galvez for the longest hitting streak in Loons’ franchise history in 24 consecutive games. Vargas has reached base safely in all 30 nine-inning games for Great Lakes this season. Leonel Valera recorded the second homerun of the frame, a two-run blast after an Andy Pages walk. Valera’s big swing was his seventh homer of the year, as well as his only hit of the night, and successfully extends his on-base streak to 26 games.

Receiving four runs of support in the top half, Loons starter Logan Boyer tossed his fifth scoreless start of the season, walking none and striking out one. Jesus Vargas retired six in a row through the next two innings before allowing a two-run homerun to Dayton’s Quincy McAfee in the fourth. The first three batters would be put aboard by the Dragons in the sixth against the returning Vargas, assisted by a throwing error on Miguel Vargas. A bunt-single by Jacob Hurtubise loaded the bases, ending the night for Vargas.

Austin Drury inherited the bases loaded, and would strike out back-to-back batters before a two-RBI double to Quin Cotton. McAfee plated five of the eight runs for the Dragons, homering for the second time of the season. Dayton erased the seven-run lead with a three-RBI double by McAfee in the sixth inning, all unearned, giving the Dragons their first lead of the night.

The Dragons win, in addition to a West Michigan loss in Lansing, puts Dayton in the top spot in the East by a half-game over the Whitecaps, and a full game in front of Great Lakes. The Loons opened the series 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position, recording two hits from the third through the ninth inning.

The six-game series continues from Dayton with Great Lakes’ Alec Gamboa making his second consecutive start and his seventh appearance of the year. Gamboa lasted five innings in his recent appearance against West Michigan, allowing two runs on five hits, walking one and recording three strikeouts. Dayton sends Eduardo Salazar, a right-hander, to the mound for Wednesday night’s matchup. In Salazar’s first outing of the season, he picked up his only win of the season with a five-inning shutout start, walking and striking out three. First pitch Wednesday night is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT from Day Air Ballpark, and can be listened to live on ESPN 100.9 FM.

The Great Lakes Loons have been the 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.