It’s standard procedure in baseball. When teams play a day game after a night game, they usually don’t bother with on-field batting practice.
That’s especially true when the first pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.
The Dayton Dragons got to Fifth Third Ballpark on time Friday, but their bats certainly didn’t get the wake-up call in what became a 6-0 loss.
Dayton went hitless in the first five innings against West Michigan right-hander Montreal Robertson. Dragons batters got two balls out of the infield off Robertson, who’s only blemish was a fifth-inning walk that was erased by a double play.
The visitors didn’t get a hit until West Michigan changed pitchers in the sixth. Carlos Sanchez led off with a ground ball to the right side that glanced off the first baseman’s glove for an infield single. Sanchez was stranded as the Dayton offense followed with a strikeout and two groundouts. Whitecaps infielders took care of 15 of the 27 outs.
Dayton starting pitcher Ismael Guillon gave up a run in the first inning, then in one stretch struck out five straight. That was immediately followed by some serious control problems in the fourth. Guillon walked four straight to bring home the second run of the game and bring Dragons manager Jose Nieves out of the dugout to make a pitching change.
The Whitecaps scored four more off the bullpen. Joel Bender gave up a pair of runs in the sixth and then two unearned runs in the seventh as the Dragons fell to 0-2.
Nieves said the slow start is no reason to push the panic button. “Starting with two losses is not good, but at the same time it’s a long season and we’re not going to drive ourselves crazy,” he said.
The Dragons play two more day games here before heading to South Bend. The games today and Sunday both start at 1 p.m. Right-hander Drew Cisco makes his Dayton debut today. He’s the grandson of former major-league pitcher and St. Marys native Galen Cisco.