LANSING, Mich. - The Loons broke through against the Lansing Lugnuts' bullpen in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon, scoring five runs in the final frame to win 5-1 at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The win salvages a series split for the Loons (17-21; 53-54), who improve to 2-2 on their seven-game road trip. Lansing (15-23; 52-52) was held to three hits on Tuesday after 22 hits over its last two games against Great Lakes.
Brandon Montgomery led off the inning with his third single of the afternoon, and the Loons immediately placed the tying run on base in the ninth against right-handed reliever Connor Eller (L, 1-3). After Saige Jenco flew out to centerfield, Eller walked Jeren Kendall on seven pitches, and with runners on first and second, Lansing went to its bullpen and brought forth righty Juliandry Higuera.
Higuera's threw wild on the second pitch of his outing, and both Loons' runners advanced into scoring position. Gavin Lux took first on a hit-by-pitch to load the bases with no outs.
The Loons took their first lead of the day when Cody Thomas lined an 0-2 pitch into left-center field to score Montgomery and Kendall. Thomas extended his RBI total to a team-high 51 with the go-ahead knock.
Cristian Santana kept the line moving for the Loons when he grounded a ball underneath the glove of Lansing third baseman Mitch Nay and scored Lux from second. Nick Yarnall drove in the final two runs of the inning with a two-run single to right field.
Loons' right-handed starter Chris Mathewson delivered a virtuoso performance, and allowed one hit through seven innings with two walks, a hit batter and six strikeouts. Lansing's only run of the game was unearned when Carlos Rincon dropped the third out of the third inning in left field, and Nick Sinay scored from second. Mathewson has pitched a career-high seven innings in each of his last two starts.
Fellow righty Evy Ruibal (W, 1-0), the Dodgers 17th-round pick this year out of Notre Dame, made his Loons debut and took the win with two scoreless innings of relief. He allowed two hits and struck out a pair.
The Loons' road venture continues Wednesday night in Dayton, Ohio against the Dragons (Reds). First pitch from Fifth Third Field is at 7 p.m. with pregame coverage at 6:30 on ESPN 100.9-FM.
The Great Lakes Loons are the 2016 Midwest League Champions and have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2007. Dow Diamond, home of the Loons, also houses ESPN 100.9-FM and the Michigan Baseball Foundation. For tickets and more information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.