CLINTON, Iowa - Clinton left-handed starter Danny Garcia allowed one hit in his first seven innings, and the LumberKings supplemented his effort with two big innings offensively in an 8-3 win over the Loons on Friday night at Ashford University Field.
The Loons (16-19) three-game win streak ends as Clinton (12-20) ties the series to set up a rubber-match Saturday night. Great Lakes had won nine of its last 11 games against the LumberKings, who snapped a three-game losing streak with the win.
All eight of Clinton's runs scored with two outs. After Loons right-hander A.J. Alexy (L, 0-2) retired the first two LumberKings' batters in the bottom of the first, a walk and a hit batsman kept the inning alive for the home side. Nick Zammarelli and Nick Thurman produced back-to-back RBI base knocks to open the scoring, and a balk brought home the third run of the inning.
Alexy lasted into the third, but threw 29 strikes on 61 total pitches, and exited with two outs and runners on first and second. Right-hander Gregorio Sequera entered and faced five batters before procuring the final out of the inning. In the interim, Clinton scored five runs (two charged to Alexy and three to Sequera) and opened up an 8-0 lead.
Left-handed pitching has been nettlesome for the Loons lefty-dominant lineup, and Garcia (W, 2-3) held the Loons to two baserunners through seven innings. The former Miami Hurricane struck out 11. Clinton stuck with Garcia to start the eighth inning, but the Loons loaded the bases on the southpaw with no outs, and field manager Pat Shine hailed the bullpen.
The Loons capitalized on a Clinton error and Saige Jenco's two-RBI double to notch three runs in the eighth, but the Loons stranded runners on second and third and drew no closer.
Despite an eight-run night, the Loons allowed six total hits, and allowed one baserunner after the third inning. Saturday's series finale starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with pregame coverage underway 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.