After a week at a pre-season boot camp in Scotland, the lads returned to face the Latics, going down to a second half goal from the penalty spot.
Against an older and bigger team, Rovers played decent football but lacked the required penetration in the first half.
However five minutes into the second half they found themselves a goal down after Rovers goalkeeper Callum Williams collided with an onrushing Wigan player and the resulting penalty was converted.
Substitutes Lewis Mansell, Stuart Callaway and Ramirez Howarth all went close as Rovers pressed for an equaliser, but they just came up short.
Coach David Lowe said: "It was a good work out for the lads, the attitude, commitment and enthusiasm was fantastic following a hard week in Scotland.
"It was quite a pleasing performance aside from the result, we've now a couple of important games this week with regards to fitness with away games at Carlisle on Tuesday and Rangers on Friday."
ROVERS: Williams, Pirretas, Nyambe, Scott, Platt, Askew, Hardcastle, Edo, Tomlinson (sub Callaway), Joel (sub Mansell), Mehew (sub Howarth).