EASTLAKE, OH – The top two teams in the East Division began a six-game series at Classic Park Tuesday night, as the Great Lakes Loons (52-45) thumped the Lake County Captains (52-45) with a 17-6 final score. The Loons increased their team HR total to 155 with a season-most six
EASTLAKE, OH – The top two teams in the East Division began a six-game series at Classic Park Tuesday night, as the Great Lakes Loons (52-45) thumped the Lake County Captains (52-45) with a 17-6 final score. The Loons increased their team HR total to 155 with a season-most six long balls in their Tuesday win, getting multi-HR nights from Andy Pages and Ryan Ward. Pages recorded his third multi-HR night in the Tuesday win, while Ward made it his sixth of the season.
In 41 trips to the plate, the Loons scored a season-most 17 runs to tie Lake County for the lead in the East. On July 28, Great Lakes scored 16 runs in a 16-9 win against West Michigan at Dow Diamond in what was the previous record.
Ward and Pages continue a friendly race to pace the High-A Central in long balls, holding the top two spots in the league. Ward began an offensive rout with two HRs in his first three at-bats, quickly scoring five runs on nine total bases through four innings. Pages responded with the Loons’ first inside-the-park home run of the season to lead off the fifth, effectively tying Ward’s 24 HRs. Pages re-claimed his position above the league with the most home runs when he smoked his 25th in the sixth.
The duo of Ward and Pages have gone deep for 49 of the team’s 155 home runs this season, becoming the best home run combination in franchise history. Ward has played in 87 games this season, while Pages hasn’t missed any of the team’s 97 games in 2021.
Zac Ching fell a triple shy of the cycle, finishing 3-for-4 at the bottom of the lineup with his 12th HR of the year and three runs batted in. Fresh off a dark horse run at the league’s offensive player of the week, Ryan January hit his fourth HR in his last four games, along with drawing a pair of walks and scoring three times.
Starter Jesus Vargas (W, 6-5) enjoyed his best start in over two months, recording his first quality-start win on Tuesday since June 13. Vargas struck out a season-high eight batters in his five frames, holding the Captains to one run on five hits and no walks to receive his first winning decision since June 25.
Great Lakes used four arms out of the bullpen in a game that saw 11 total arms used in a ballgame that lasted three hours and 51 minutes. Bringing in a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth, the Loons scored six in the second and seven in the sixth inning, finishing 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Bullying the Captains in the Tuesday win, Great Lakes leads Lake County in the season series, 12 games to seven. Lake County is 24-10 at Classic Park against the rest of their opponents, but slump at home with a 2-5 record against the Loons this season.
The battle for first in the East continues Wednesday night in game two of the six-game series in Eastlake, with first pitch from Classic Park scheduled for 7:05 P.M. EDT. A matchup of 2020 right-handers headline Wednesday’s matchup as Lake County’s Tanner Burns opposes Great Lakes’ Gavin Stone. Stone was a fifth-round selection by LAD out of Central Arkansas, while Cleveland selected Burns from Auburn with the 36th overall pick in the compensation round in 2020.
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.