MIDLAND, Michigan - Robert Stephenson fired six strong innings and Robert Ramirez collected a pair of run-scoring singles to lead the Dayton Dragons to a 5-1 victory over the Great Lakes Loons on Saturday night in the opener of a three-game series. The win was the Dragons seventh in their last nine games.
Stephenson (4-3) struck out eight and walked only one, allowing one run on six hits. Over his last four starts, he is 3-0 with a 1.44 earned run average, allowing two walks with 33 strikeouts over 25 innings.
The Loons took a brief 1-0 lead in the first inning before the Dragons answered with two in the second. Jesse Winker tripled to the right field corner to start the inning and scored on Junior Arias' single to center to tie the game. Arias stole second and scored on Ramirez's hit to right to make it 2-1.
Neither team scored again until the eighth inning. Great Lakes had runners in scoring position in the second, third, fourth, sixth, and seventh, but came away empty before the Dragons extended their lead with three runs in the eighth. Joe Terry doubled to right with one out and Winker drew an intentional walk. Arias reached on an infield single to third and Terry scored on the play on a throwing error. Winker crossed the plate on a wild pitch and Ramirez drove in Arias with a hit to right to close out the scoring.
The Dragons bullpen provided another strong effort. Tony Amezcua and Wandy Peralta combined for three hitless, scoreless innings.
The Dragons collected 11 hits. Arias was 3 for 4 with two stolen bases and two runs scored. Winker and Ramirez each had two hits.
The Dragons battle the Loons on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. in the second game of a three-game series. Ismael Guillon (1-5, 8.91) will start for Dayton against Great Lakes' Angel Sanchez (1-4, 4.14). The next Dragons home game is Tuesday vs. the South Bend Silver Hawks at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. All Dragons games can be heard on WONE Radio (980 AM) and via the internet at daytondragons.com and wone.com.
Notes: Loons batters went 0 for 10 with men in scoring position while the Dragons were 5 for 9.
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