MIDLAND, Mich.- Luke Heyer hit two home runs including a grand slam and drove in six runs to lead the Great Lakes Loons to an 8-3 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Wednesday afternoon. The Loons won two-of-three in the series.
The Loons led by only one run when the game was delayed by rain for 42 minutes in the bottom of the seventh inning. After the game resumed, Great Lakes scored five times in the inning, keyed by a grand slam home run by Heyer, as they took command of the game.
After the Loons took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Heyer’s two-run homer, the Dragons responded with a two-run top of the third to tie the game. Jonathan Willems started the inning with a bloop single to right field and Michael Siani reached on an error by the third baseman as Willems went to third. Juan Martinez then lined a single to center field to drive in Willems and move Siani to third. Siani scored on Pabel Manzanero’s sacrifice fly to tie the game.
The Loons regained the lead in fourth inning, scoring an unearned run against Dragons reliever Adrian Rodriguez.
The Dragons had a chance in the top of the seventh to tie or take the lead. With two outs, Martinez singled to center field and Mariel Bautista was hit by a pitch. But Manzanero flied out to end the threat.
Great Lakes loaded the bases with no one out before the game was delayed by rain. After it resumed, they pushed their lead to 4-2 on a bases loaded walk, and Heyer broke the game open with a grand slam home run to make it 8-2.
Michael Siani hit a solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning for the Dragons to close out the scoring. The homer was Siani’s second of the season.
The Dragons nine-hit attack featured two-hit days by Siani, Martinez, and Jay Schuyler. The nine hits represented the Dragons highest total since April 25 when they had 12 hits in an 8-3 win over Great Lakes in Dayton.
Dragons starting pitcher Alexis Diaz worked three innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Adrian Rodriguez replaced Diaz and was charged with the loss. He allowed one unearned run in two innings of work. Rodriguez gave up one hit and one walk with a strikeout. Carlos Machorro pitched out of a tough jam in the sixth but allowed five runs in the seventh, including the grand slam by Heyer. Machorro was charged with five runs in one and one-third innings. Connor Bennett was the Dragons fourth and final pitcher of the day. He worked one and two-thirds innings, allowing no hits or runs with two walks and four strikeouts.
Notes: Left-handed relief pitcher Andy Cox has been promoted to Daytona of the Florida State League. Cox pitched in 11 games for the Dragons, posting a record of 0-1 with a 6.60 earned run average.
Up Next: The Dragons (13-25) travel to South Bend, Indiana to begin a four-game series with the South Bend Cubs (21-16) on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. James Marinan (1-4, 6.23) will start for Dayton against Faustino Carrera (3-2, 3.18). The next home game for the Dragons is Monday, May 20 against the Lake County Captains.