GENEVA, Ill. - Oneil Cruz hit a home run, and the Loons offense churned out 10 hits in seven innings as Great Lakes concluded their only series of the season against the Kane County Cougars with an 8-3 win on Wednesday afternoon.
Rain shortened the game to seven innings. Because the Loons and Kane County do not play again this season, the game will not be completed. Per Midwest League rules, the game lasted beyond five innings, and as such, constitutes an official game. It is a win for the Loons (15-18), a loss for the Cougars (17-13) and all statistics from the game count towards season totals.
The Loons have won three series in a row, and are 6-3 in May. It's the Loons' second series win of the season on the road, and the club's first series win against the Western Division away from Dow Diamond since August 14-16, 2015 (a three-game sweep of the Clinton LumberKings).
Trailing 1-0 to start the fourth inning, the Loons offense went on a spurt and scored three unearned runs on three hits against Kane County righty starter, Mitch Aker, who made his professional debut on Wednesday. Lefties Gage Green and Saige Jenco delivered consecutive run-scoring hits in the inning, aided by an error on Kane County second baseman Manny Jefferson.
Kane County rallied to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth against Loons right-hander Dustin May, who allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts over 4.1 innings of work.
Two innings later, the Loons pulled ahead for good. Mitchell Hansen, Cruz and Keibert Ruiz, who had three hits in the ballgame, each singled off right-hander Jake Winston to start the frame. The Loons plated two runs, and led 5-3.
Cruz mashed his second home run of the season, and first since April 8, in the top of the seventh inning to extend the Loons lead to 8-3. Shortly thereafter, amid steady rainfall in the bottom of the seventh inning, home plate umpire Tanner Dobson motioned for the tarpaulin, and the game was officially terminated after a 45-minute delay.
The Loons are 2-1 at the halfway point of their six-game road trip, which continues on Thursday in Clinton, Iowa against the LumberKings (Mariners). First pitch is at 7:30 p.m. EDT with coverage beginning at 7 on ESPN 100.9-FM.
The 2016 Midwest League Champions and hosts of the 2017 MWL All-Star Game presented by GoGreat.com have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team's inception in 2007. For tickets and more information about the Great Lakes 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.