The Great Lakes Loons broke a 2-2 tie with one run in the bottom of the seventh inning and held on to defeat the Dayton Dragons 3-2 on Monday night. The game was the opener to a three-game series and a seven-game road trip for the Dragons.
The Dragons suffered their fourth straight loss as their offensive struggles continued. They have scored runs in just three of the 36 innings during the losing streak.
Great Lakes took the lead with two runs in the fourth inning before the Dragons tied the game in the top of the fifth. Dayton’s Dylan Harris reached on a two-out single and Reniel Ozuna followed with a triple into the right field corner. Harris scored from first base on the play, and when the relay throw sailed past the third baseman, Ozuna raced in to score and make it 2-2.
The Dragons had a chance to take the lead in the top of the seventh when Juan Martinez and Morgan Lofstrom delivered singles to start the inning, putting runners at first and second with no one out. But Harris bunted into a fielder’s choice as Martinez was thrown out at third, and Ozuna grounded into a double play to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Great Lakes’ Leonel Valera led off with a slow bouncer to third base. Juan Martinez made a barehanded grab but his throw to first bounced past Harris, allowing Valera to go to second. Dragons reliever Connor Bennett struck out the next hitter but then delivered a wild pitch to advance Valera to third with one out. Hunter Feduccia hit a fly ball to short center field that was caught by Mariel Bautista, but Valera tagged and beat the throw home on a close play to give the Loons a 3-2 lead.
The Dragons were retired in order in the eighth. In the ninth, Martinez drew a two-out walk, but Lofstrom struck out to end the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Jared Solomon had his third straight good outing. Solomon worked five innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Bennett replaced Solomon to start the sixth inning and was charged with the loss. He lasted one and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Andy Cox retired all four batters he faced.
The Dragons had seven hits by seven different players. The triple by Ozuna was the only extra base hit.
Up Next: The Dragons (12-24) meet the Loons (20-13) again on Tuesday night at 6:05 p.m. in the second game of the series in Midland. Ricky Salinas (1-0, 4.85) will start for Dayton against Zach Willeman (0-0, 0.00). The series will conclude Wednesday morning at 10:35 a.m.
On the Air: All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on Fox Sports 980 WONE AM. Games can be heard on smart phones, iPads, and other mobile devices via the free Dragons Mobile App, or on a computer at wone.com. Games are also available on HD Radio on 104.7 WTUI HD 2. All Saturday and Sunday home games are televised on Dayton’s CW (channel 26; Spectrum cable channels 13 and 1013).