DAYTON, Ohio – The West Michigan Whitecaps broke open a one-run game with seven runs in the eighth inning on the way to a 10-3 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Thursday night. The Dayton loss snapped their 10-game winning streak, which tied for the second longest in franchise history.
The game was tied 2-2 through six innings before West Michigan’s Avery Tuck led off the seventh with a solo home run to give the Whitecaps the lead. West Michigan sent 12 batters to the plate in the eighth, collecting five hits and a pair of bases-loaded walks in the inning to break the game open.
West Michigan scored two runs in the top of the first inning before the Dragons responded with two runs of their own to tie the game. The Dayton rally started with a base hit by Michael Siani, and Brian Rey’s hit moved Siani to third. A sacrifice fly by Jay Schuyler brought in Siani, and Pabel Manzanero singled to right to move Rey to third. After Juan Martinez was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Morgan Lofstrom grounded to first and Rey was forced at the plate for the second out. But Miguel Hernandez followed with an infield single to bring in Manzanero and even the score at 2-2.
Neither team scored again until the Whitecaps broke the tie in the seventh. The Dragons had only one hit after the first inning until Brian Rey blasted a solo home run in the eighth, his sixth homer of the year.
Dragons starting pitcher James Marinan worked six innings, allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw a season-high 86 pitches. Alexis Diaz followed Marinan and suffered through a rough outing. Diaz (5-3) allowed seven runs in one and one-third innings to suffer the loss. He gave up five hits and one walk with one strikeout. Moises Nova replaced Diaz with the Dragons trailing 6-2, the bases loaded, and one out in the eighth. Nova allowed all three inherited runners to score, plus one more run as the Whitecaps produced a seven-run inning. Nova’s final line including one and two-thirds innings as he allowed two hits and one run with two walks and a strikeout.
The Dragons finished with seven hits. Rey had two hits including a home run. Randy Ventura had one hit to extend his hitting streak to nine straight games, the longest of the year for a Dayton player. Michael Siani had one hit to extend his hitting streak to eight straight games.
The Dragons closed out their seven-game homestand with a 6-1 record. They finished their first half home schedule with a record of 17-18.
Up Next: The Dragons (27-40) will play a three-game series in Midland, Michigan against the Great Lakes Loons (41-23) Friday through Sunday to close out the first half in the Midwest League’s split-season format. Friday’s game will start at 7:05 p.m. Ricky Salinas (2-3, 4.91) will start for the Dragons against Robinson Ortiz (1-2, 10.29).