Comstock Park, MICHIGAN – Pabel Manzanero hit a solo home run and four Dayton pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout as the Dragons defeated the West Michigan Whitecaps 1-0 on Friday night. The Dragons snapped a four-game losing streak with the win and salvaged a win in the series at West Michigan.
Dayton starting pitcher Ricky Salinas (3-3) earned the win with five and one-third scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit, a single in the fifth, and walked only one while striking out four. Salinas will be a strong contender for the Reds Minor League Pitcher of the Month award for June. He made five starts during the month and allowed just four runs in 26.1 innings, posting an earned run average of 1.03.
Matt Pidich replaced Salinas with one out in the sixth with a runner at first base and retired the next two batters before tossing a scoreless seventh inning. Carlos Machorro allowed a lead-off single in the eighth before getting the next three hitters to hold the lead. Connor Bennett earned his 10th save by tossing the ninth inning. He retired the first two batters before hitting a batter to put the tying run on base. But Bennett notched a game-ending strikeout to close out the win. Bennett has not allowed a run in June, tossing 10.1 innings. In Bennett’s last 10 outings, he has earned two wins and seven saves.
Manzanero’s second inning home run, his seventh of the year, accounted for the game’s only run. The Dragons finished with eight hits. Miguel Hernandez was 3 for 4.
Notes: The game featured an unusual moment in the sixth inning when West Michigan pitcher Robbie Welhaf was ejected by the Midwest League umpiring crew for using an apparent illegal substance. Umpires checked his left wrist or left forearm area of the right-handed pitcher and apparently discovered a foreign substance that justified the ejection, which will also carry an automatic 10-game suspension…The game was delayed for nine minutes prior to the start of the seventh inning when a fan suffered an apparent leg injury during a between-innings on-field promotion. The fan was taken off the field on a stretcher but was alert and talking to medical personnel.
Up Next: The Dragons (3-5, 31-47) travel to South Bend, Indiana to begin a three-game series against the South Bend Cubs (4-4, 41-35) on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Connor Curlis (2-2, 3.27) will start for the Dragons against South Bend’s Faustino Carrera (4-3, 2.70).
The next home game is Tuesday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m. against the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Fifth Third Field.