Following a five-game win streak the Captains have gone the other way, losing five straight including last night’s loss to the Loons of Great Lakes 9-0.
Lake County drops to 8-10 on the season, and will wrap up their road trip this afternoon with a 2:05pm first pitch in Great Lakes.
Here’s Tuesday’s recap from the Captains official site:
If you watched the first four innings of the Great Lakes Loons (8-11) and Lake County Captains (8-10) on Tuesday night, you saw what looked like the beginning of an epic pitcher’s duel between Lake County’s Shane Bieber and Great Lakes’ Devin Smeltzer. Both starters were perfect in the first few frames, but one side’s dominance quickly dissolved. The Loons broke out the bats in the middle of the contest and shutout the Captains at Dow Diamond, 9-0.
Bieber set down the first 11 batters he faced, including six strikeouts, before giving up the first hit of the ballgame. Carlos Rincon ended Bieber’s perfect game and no-hit bids with a two-out single in the fourth. Smeltzer was equally dominant. The Loons’ lefty was perfect through four innings and did not allow a baserunner until the fifth when Li-Jen Chu lined a leadoff single to left field.
Smeltzer’s command on the mound continued, but Bieber’s did not. While Smeltzer kept putting up zeroes, his Loons teammates started to hit. Bieber started the fifth by issuing his first walk of the season, a four-pitch free pass to Gavin Lux. After back-to-back singles loaded the bases with nobody out, Bieber struck out Luis Paz to bring up Nick Yarnall. Yarnall hit a soft grounder to second base and the Captains could not turn the difficult double play. Lux scored on the RBI fielder’s choice to give the Loons a 1-0 lead.
Great Lakes’ bats really heated up in the sixth. The Loons attacked Bieber and right-handed reliever Henry Martinez to the tune of eight runs on nine hits in the frame. The inning started with a leadoff homer by Brendon Davis. Rincon and Cody Thomas followed with back-to-back singles and Mitchell Hansen drove in a pair with a one-out single up the middle, then moved up to second on the throw home from the outfield. Hansen’s knock gave the Loons a 4-0 lead and ended the day for Bieber.
Martinez came in from the bullpen, but the offensive assault continued. Keibert Ruiz singled to drive home Hansen. After a walk to Paz, Martinez struck out Yarnall for the second out, but the Loons did not quit. Oneil Cruz singled and Davis drove home two more runs with a single. Rincon followed with an RBI single and Thomas knocked home the eighth run of the inning with a double. Michael Letkewicz finally put out the fire, coming in from the bullpen and fanning Lux to end the frame, but the Loons had scored eight runs on nine hits in the inning and sent 13 batters to the plate.
Meanwhile, Smeltzer was as unhittable as ever and the Captains could not touch reliever Miguel Urena either. Smeltzer (1-0) earned his first professional win, tossing six shutout innings and allowing just two hits. The lefty struck out seven and did not issue a walk. Urena shutout Lake County over three innings to earn the save.
Despite a strong start, Bieber (2-2) took the loss. The right-hander lasted 5.1 innings and gave up a season-high five runs on seven hits. Bieber struck out eight and walked a batter for the first time this year.
Hear all the action as the Captains and Loons battle this afternoon, and before the game tune into ‘Captains Live’ at 1:05pm and then the action from there – Click the Captains Logo below to be taken to AllSportsCleveland.net where you can hear every pitch!