Thomas, Rincon homer back-to-back twice – in same inning

Loons OF Carlos Rincon, seen here batting during this year’s MWL Home Run Derby, homered back-to-back with Cody Thomas twice in the 1st inning Thursday. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

On most days, several of the things that happened in the Great Lakes Loons’ 16-5 win over the Dayton Dragons on Thursday easily could be the lead of a game story.

Dayton’s Jose Siri extended his Midwest League-record hitting streak to 39 consecutive games.

Great Lakes hit a franchise-record seven home runs — three by Cody Thomas and two each by Carlos Rincon and Jared Walker.

Five of those home runs came in the 1st inning — a frame in which the Loons scored 11 runs, including eight off rehabbing Cincinnati Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani. The five home runs in a single inning set a new franchise record for Great Lakes.

But the most notable achievement (because of its rarity) was the back-to-back home runs hit by Thomas and Rincon — twice in the same frame, the 11-run 1st inning. Their first set of homers were hit off DeSclafani, the second set off reliever Jesse Stallings.

The only other known instance of two players hitting back-to-back homers twice in the same inning happened on May 2, 2002, when Bret Boone and Mike Cameron did it for the Mariners in Seattle’s 15-4 win over the Chicago White Sox.

DeSclafani faced nine batters and recorded only one out, which was surprising after he gave up only two hits and struck out six in four shutout innings against the Fort Wayne TinCaps last Saturday. The right-hander is on an injury rehabilitation assignment as he works his way back from a UCL sprain in his right elbow.

After the game, DeSclafani said he felt discomfort in his right forearm.

His counterpart in Thursday’s game, Loons starter Jordan Sheffield, didn’t pitch well, either. The right-hander gave up five runs on five hits and a walk in 7.1 innings, but he also struck out 10 batters and got his third win of the season. Sheffield is now 3-7 with a 4.03 ERA in 20 starts this year.

But the Loons didn’t need great pitching Thursday, partly thanks to Thomas’ career night at the plate. He set new Loons single-game records for home runs (3), runs batted in (7), and total bases (12). He is batting .235 with 18 HR and 58 RBI in 96 games this season.

The Dragons scored all five of their runs in the bottom of the 8th inning. Three came on a bases-loaded double by Siri. That hit extended the Dayton outfielder’s streak to 39 games, a run that started in the first game of the second half on June 22. According to the team’s media notes for Friday, Siri is batting .341 with 13 homers, 32 runs batted in, 12 doubles, three triples, eight stolen bases, and a .671 slugging percentage during his streak.

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