The Dragons reside in sixth place in the Midwest League’s eight-team Eastern Division with 13 games left in the first half of the season. But optimism for a stronger second half is starting to build.
An offensive outburst in the fifth inning and sensational relief pitching lifted Dayton to an 8-3 win over Lake County on Sunday afternoon in front of 8,710 spectators at Fifth Third Field.
Dragons fans get their first look today at right-handed pitcher Nick Travieso, the Cincinnati Reds’ first-round pick (No. 14 overall) in the 2012 amateur draft. Adding Travieso to a rotation that already includes 2011 first-round pick Robert Stephenson (5-3, 3.32 ERA) and Drew Cisco (2-3, 3.32 ERA) could mean good things for the start of the second half.
“I had him last year in rookie ball for a short period of time. I like his mannerisms, his passion, he’s willing to compete. Adding him to the rotation is great,” Dragons manager Jose Nieves said of Travieso, who was promoted from extended spring training. “First game we want him to come in and do what he’s capable of and no more. Try to count on the defense and we’ve got a pretty good one behind him.”
The offense wasn’t bad, either, Sunday.
Beau Amaral and Joe Terry ripped back-to-back triples — Amaral’s gave the Dragons their first lead of the series — and Seth Mejias-Brean and Junior Arias stroked doubles in the five-run fifth. Dayton led 7-2, a lead protected by three relievers.
Cisco left a 2-2 game in the fourth after developing a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. It was just the second time in 11 starts he failed to pitch five full innings. Tony Amezcua (2-0), Wandy Peralta and Sean Lucas combined to allow three hits and one run the next 5 2/3 innings.
“Amezcua came back and did an awesome job in relief. Throws hard, good command, mixing pitches well,” Nieves said. “Great relief. Gave a chance to our hitters to come back with a big inning.”
As for Cisco, Nieves said he will be checked out today. Until then it’s undetermined if he’ll make his next start.