BOWLING GREEN, KY. - The Great Lakes Loons struggled to find offense in a 5-2 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Saturday night. Against knuckleball starter Chris Pike (W, 2-2) and righty reliever Deivy Mendez, it took the Loons until the 9th inning to score.
For the first time since May 2nd, the Loons (8-9, 44-42) have now lost three straight games, while the Hot Rods (10-7, 41-43) have now won seven straight.
Bowling Green cracked the scoreboard first with a solo home run to lead off the 4th inning by Tampa Bay Rays 2015 1st round pick Garrett Whitley. Whitley's bomb came off Loons starter A.J. Alexy (L, 2-3) who went five innings giving up just that one run and two additional hits.
Another home run for the Hot Rods helped extend their lead in the 6th inning off southpaw reliever Christian Stolo. Jesus Sanchez, an MLB top 100 prospect, doubled to begin the frame, then Jonah Heim singled. Now with two men on and still no outs, Bobby Melley bopped a three-run home run over the right field bullpen and pushed Bowling Green's lead to four.
An additional run of support was added by BG in the 7th on an RBI-single for Sanchez who now has five RBI and five hits already in the series just two games in.
The Loons showed some fight though in the 9th. Mendez had already logged three innings of relief work in the game and was back out to try and seal the deal, but three straight base hits including a two-RBI knock for Oneil Cruz brought the Loons within three runs still with no outs in the inning.
But the Loons would get no closer. After a strikeout and a walk, righty Joe Serrapica (S, 2) came in to record the final two outs and he would get them on just one play - a 4-6-3 twin killing.
With the Loons now 1-4 on their seven-game road trip they are already guaranteed a losing trip, but can still try to carry momentum into a league-wide off-day on Tuesday. Game three vs. Bowling Green is Sunday at 5:05 p.m. EDT.
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.