MIDLAND, Michigan – The Great Lakes Loons battled back from a two-run deficit to score six runs over the middle three innings and defeat the Dayton Dragons 6-3 on Sunday afternoon. The game was the final contest of the First Half in the Midwest League split-season. The Dragons will open the Second Half on Thursday in Dayton.
The Dragons finished the first half with a record of 28-42. In the five previous seasons over the team’s history in which the Dragons won 28 or fewer games in the first half, they improved on that record in the second half four times. In 2008, they reached the playoffs as a second half wildcard club by going 38-32 after finishing 28-40 in the first half. In 2013, they improved to 37-33 in the second half, losing out on a playoff spot on the final day of the season, after going 28-40 in the first half.
On Sunday, the Dragons took an early lead with two runs in the third inning. With one out, Randy Ventura singled to left field to extend his hitting streak to 11 straight games. Michael Siani followed with a hit to left to move Ventura to third, and a balk brought in Ventura and moved Siani to second. Siani stole third and scored on Miles Gordon’s sacrifice fly to right to make it 2-0.
But Great Lakes scored the next six runs, plating three in the fourth to take the lead and then adding two in the fifth and one in the sixth. The Loons took advantage of two Dayton errors that led to three unearned runs.
The Dragons closed out the scoring in the ninth inning with a two out rally when Bren Spillane singled, took second on defensive indifference, and scored on a double to the fence in right-center field by Brian Rey.
Dragons starting pitcher Jhon De Jesus (1-6) allowed five runs (only two earned) in five innings to suffer the loss. He gave up seven hits including six over his final two innings. He walked one and struck out four. Carlos Machorro followed De Jesus and worked the sixth and seventh innings, allowing one run. Machorro walked three and struck out three while allowing one hit. Moises Nova worked one inning, allowing no runs with a walk and a strikeout.
The Dragons finished the day with seven hits. Ventura was 2 for 3 with a stolen base and a run scored. Rey extended his hitting streak to eight straight games with his RBI double in the ninth inning. Siani, who opened the day as the Midwest League leader in the month of June in runs, hits, and stolen bases, scored one run and collected one hit and one stolen base. The steal was his 11th in June and 21st of the year.
Up Next: The Midwest League all-star break runs Monday-Wednesday. The Dragons return to action on Thursday, June 20 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton against the Lansing Lugnuts at 7:00 p.m. in the start to the Second Half season. Lyon Richardson (1-4, 4.10) will start for the Dragons.