EASTLAKE, Ohio – Dayton pitchers Adrian Rodriguez, Eddy Demurias, and Matt Pidich combined on a one-hit shutout and Ernesto Liberatore had three hits including a home run as the Dragons defeated the Lake County Captains 3-0 on Saturday night. The game was the opener to a four-game series.
The Dragons scored all three runs in the top of the fourth inning. Matt Lloyd belted a two-run home run to right field with Juan Martinez aboard to break the scoreless tie. The homer was Lloyd’s second with the Dragons. Two batters later, Liberatore, who had not started a game since July 20 and had compiled only 25 at-bats all season, connected on a solo homer to make it 3-0.
Rodriguez (6-3) worked seven brilliant innings, allowing only an infield single in the third inning while walking two and striking out five. The only hit of the game was a ground ball that hit the glove of Dayton second baseman Randy Ventura as he moved quickly to his right at the second base bag. After the ball reached Ventura, he took a step to the left of the base to retrieve the ball, then quickly stepped back toward to base to try to get a force out, but the runner from first beat him to bag on a close play. The Captains did not collect another hit on the night.
Eddy Demurias worked a perfect eighth inning in relief of Rodriguez and Matt Pidich pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
The Dragons collected 12 hits. Liberatore had two singles along with his home run. Lloyd had two including his homer.
Notes: Rodriguez has allowed only two earned runs in the month of August covering 25.1 innings.
Up Next: The Dragons (27-34, 55-76) meet the Captains (29-32, 69-61) again on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the second game of the four-game series. Lyon Richardson (3-9, 4.30) will start for the Dragons on Saturday against Lake County’s Eli Lingos (3-3, 3.86).