After enduring a 1-for-20 slump in Billings, Adam Matthews smashed the first pitch he saw as a Dragon out of the park for a grand slam Wednesday night.
“I had been struggling and I wanted to come over here and start on a good note,” Matthews said. “It is a nice way to make an entry (to a new team).”
Despite a .050 average in Billings, Matthews felt he was making good contact prior to being promoted.
“I was swinging it well, I just didn’t have much luck on my side,” Matthews said. “I just wanted to relax and continue the swing I have been working on.”
Matthews batted fifth for the Dragons in their Thursday night 6-5 win over Bowling Green at Fifth Third Field. He said the key is to remember this is the same game he has always played.
“This game is too crazy to put pressure on yourself,” Matthews said. “You just have to stick to your normal routine, go to the plate, see the ball and hit the ball and keep your head on straight.”
Stephenson update: Robert Stephenson, on the disabled list since June 14 with a hamstring injury, was scheduled to throw his second round of batting practice Thursday, but the rain washed that out.
However, the right-hander threw on the side in front of Cincinnati Reds pitching coordinator Mark Riggins.
“He threw free and easy,” Dragons manager Jose Nieves said. “There were no complaints. He is making good progress.”
Vincej on DL: Shortstop Zach Vincej was placed on the disabled list last Thursday with a strained oblique. He had been on a tear, hitting .473 over his last 17 games.
Pair promoted: Outfielder Junior Arias and relief pitcher Ben Klimesh were elevated to high-A Bakersfield as Matthews and shortstop Humberto Valor were promoted from Billings to Dayton.
Kyle McMyne will handle the late-inning relief role Klimesh held while Matthews has moved into the outfield spot vacated by Arias.
“McMyne will do fine there,” Nieves said. “Lately we have been throwing it well, so I hope we are on the right path. With the way we are swinging the bat and playing defense, I think we will be alright.”
No rockets red glare: Due to the inclement weather Thursday, the Dragons had to postpone their Fourth of July fireworks display scheduled for after the game. The fireworks show will be rescheduled, the team said.