The Great Lakes Loons gave up 5-runs in the eighth and blew a 2-run lead in a 5-2 loss to the Fort Wayne Tincaps (San Diego Padres) in its final road game of the season at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, IN tonight.
Protecting a 2-0 lead, Loons reliever Evy Ruibal came in to replace Willian Soto to start the bottom of the eighth inning and was touched for 2-walks and 2-singles as Fort Wayne cut the Loons lead to 2-1, scoring 1-run before he was replaced by James Carter with only 1-out in the inning.
With runners on first and second (following a force out) Carter struck out the first batter for 2-outs, then gave up a 3-run home run to Tincaps center fielder Buddy Reed (6) followed by a solo shot to second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza (4) for a 5-2 Fort Wayne lead through eight innings.
Ruibal (1-2, 4.61 ERA) was charged with his second loss of the season for the Loons after giving up 3-runs on 2-hits and 2-walks, through 1/3 of an inning.
Carter (BS, 1) was hit with his first blown save of the season after giving up 2-runs on 2-hits, with 1-strikeout through 2/3 of an inning.
The Loons had jumped out to an early when Gavin Lux reached on a 1-out walk and Jeren Kendall reached on a fielding error, before Cristian Santana, Connor Wong, and Cody Thomas hit back to back to back singles, scoring Lux and Kendall for a 2-0 Loons lead in the top of the first inning.
Loons starter Alfredo Tavarez (5.40 ERA) had a great start, allowing just 2-hits and 5-walks, with 7-strikeouts through 5-innings.
Soto (2.84 ERA) replaced Tavarez in the sixth and was very impressive, allowing just 1-hit, with 1-strikeout through his 2-innings of relief.
The Loons will try to end the 2017 season on a strong note when the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians) come to town for the final 3-home games of the season (Sat-Mon) with the first game set for 7:05 pm tomorrow at Dow Diamond.